There is ground for Turkey, Vietnam to take ‘big leap’ in ties: Envoy

There is ground for Turkey and Vietnam to take a “big leap” in bilateral relations, according to Vietnamese Ambassador Do Son Hai.

In an interview with Anadolu Agency (AA) published on Monday, Hai said there are several aspects in which the two countries can increase cooperation, particularly emphasizing economic and cultural ties, as well as the education sector.

“I believe there are many different areas where improvements can be made. Both countries have their strengths and weaknesses. If we work together, there can be a big leap in bilateral relations,” he said.

Tourism between Turkey and Vietnam is also insufficient, said Hai.

He said the two countries are more than capable of raising bilateral trade from the current $1.6 billion (TL 27.73 billion) to $4 billion in the next five years.

After Malaysia, I added that Vietnam currently has the highest trade volume with Turkey among all members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN).

All we need to boost trade is for both sides to pursue this goal with focus and determination, Hai said, adding that he will use his position as an ambassador to build links between entrepreneurs and companies in Turkey and Vietnam.

When it comes to our people, there is an evident disconnect as either side knows little about the other, said the envoy.

For this, major media outlets such as Anadolu Agency (AA) have a critically important role – they are the ones who can fill the gaps and bring our people closer, he added.

Diplomatic relations between Turkey and Vietnam were established in 1978. Turkey and Vietnam have their resident Embassies in Hanoi and Ankara, respectively. The process for opening the Turkish Consulate General in Ho Chi Minh City is underway.

The bilateral relations with Vietnam have been developing in every field, particularly in terms of economic and trade exchanges. Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu’s visit on March 17-19, 2015 was the first visit to Vietnam at the Foreign Ministers level after a 17-year-interval.

In order to complete the legal ground for cooperation between Turkey and Vietnam, the Agreement on the Reciprocal Encouragement and Protection of Investments and the Agreement on Prevention of Double Taxation was signed in 2014, Civil Aviation and Maritime Cooperation Agreements were signed in 2015, and the Agreement on Cooperation and Mutual Assistance in Customs was signed in 2017.

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