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|Greek President Katerina Sakellaropoulou (Photo: VNA)|
Hanoi – The official visit to Vietnam by Greek President Katerina Sakellaropoulou from May 15-19 is expected to contribute to consolidating political trust and deepening the multi-faceted cooperation between the two countries.
The visit takes place in the context that the traditional friendship is developing fruitfully, with conversations and meetings between the two countries’ leaders maintained despite impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Vietnam and Greece established diplomatic ties on April 15, 1975. Greece opened its embassy in Hanoi in March 2007, while Vietnam opened its embassy in Athens in December 2010 and officially inaugurated it on March 26, 2012.
Despite having to address a public-debt crisis with a range of political, economic and social issues, along with the migration crisis over the past time, Greece has placed importance to its relations with Vietnam.
Two-way trade has grown rapidly over the past five years, surpassing 446 million USD in 2021, up 33 percent year-on-year. Notably, Vietnam’s exports to Greece have expanded strongly and the country has always run a large trade surplus with Greece.
Vietnam mainly ships footwear, garments-textiles, and aquatic and timber products to Greece. It is noteworthy that as from 2013, Vietnam’s mobile phone exports to the Southeast European nation rose significantly, from 73.9 million USD in 2014 to 116 million USD in 2020.
The country imports a small volume of paper and paperboard, and materials for tobacco production from Greece.
In development cooperation, Greece has provided aid for ethnic minority groups, flood victims, people with disabilities and Agent Orange (AO)/dioxin victims in Vietnam, through building a 200,000 USD school in the central province of Thua Thien-Hue, donating 100,000 USD to the fund for AO victims, and presenting 100 wheelchairs to local disabled people, and other activities.
Vietnam and Greece have signed a number of cooperation documents to promote their bilateral ties, including a framework cooperation on collaboration in economy, industry and technology in 1996, another on tourism cooperation in 2007, an agreement on cultural cooperation in 2008, another on investment encouragement and protection in 2008, a tourism agreement in 2013, and one on visa exemption for diplomatic passport holders in 2018, to name but a few.
Greece is one of the first EU countries to ratify the EU-Vietnam Investment Protection Agreement (EVIPA) and back Vietnam’s candidacy for membership of the UN Human Rights Council for 2023-2025.