The Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade, Charlie Flanagan TD, met with Vietnam’s Deputy Prime Minister Mr Trinh Dinh Dung,at the Heritage Hotel in Killenard last Friday afternoon.
Deputy Prime Minister Dung and Minister Flanagan discussed the strong and growing bilateral relationship between Ireland and Vietnam.
The visit cane just six months after Minister Flanagan accompanied President Higgins on a State Visit to Vietnam.
Minister Flanagan welcomes the inclusion of Ireland in Vietnam’s new e-visa scheme, which will make it easier for the 10,000 Irish tourists that visit the country each year to apply for a short stay visa.
Minister Flanagan update thed Deputy Prime Minister Dung on Ireland’s future country strategy for Vietnam.
The strategy, which will give direction to Ireland’s development cooperation programme as well as our wider political, economic and cultural engagement with the country, will be launched in the coming months.
“Ireland’s strategy for Vietnam for the period 2017 – 2020 is now close to finalisation.
“Ireland remains fully committed to supporting the Vietnamese Government’s efforts to addressing development challenges. Irish Aid’s programme in the country will continue to focus on poverty reduction and ethnic minority empowerment, and on support for institutional exchanges.
“The strategy will align closely with the forthcoming cross-sectoral Asia Pacific Strategy, which will set out actions to strengthen our bilateral and trade relations with countries in the region.”
Trade and investment opportunities between Ireland and Vietnam, which amounted to €306 million in 2016, will also be discussed.
Minister Flanagan commented:
“I believe that there is great potential for us to increase two way trade and investment between Ireland and Vietnam.
“Irish companies are showing a growing interest in exploring this vibrant market, particularly in the areas of agri-food, education, aviation services and renewable energies.
“The ratification and implementation of the EU Vietnam Free Trade Agreement will open up more opportunities for Irish and Vietnamese companies to do business.”
Minister Flanagan and Deputy Prime Minister Dung also discussed the implications of the UK’s decision to leave the European Union.
They exchanged views on regional and international issues of mutual interest, including developments in South East Asia, climate change and sustainable development.