(VOV) - Vietnam and Chile should consider opening direct air routes to facilitate their trade, State President Truong Tan Sang told Senate President Guido Girardin Lavín in Hanoi on February 28.
He said these air routes will help not only increase economic, investment and trade ties between Vietnam and Chile, but also expand economic relations between the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and Mercosur, comprising Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay and Uruguay.
He noted that two-way trade between Vietnam and Chile remains modest, at US$500 million, which does not match their potential.
Once the Vietnam-Chile free trade agreement (FTA) is ratified, it will help raise bilateral trade to a new level, said President Sang.
He described Mr Lavín’s visit as historic in bilateral legislative relations after the visit to Vietnam by the Chilean parliamentary leader 50 years ago.
He confirmed that the friendly Vietnam-Chile relations have developed well through the exhcnage of delegations visits. The two countries have cooperated closely in international forums such as the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) and the United nations, he said.
President Sang expressed his belief that the Senate President’s visit, together with the upcoming visit to Vietnam in March 2012 by the Chilean President, will open up a new chapter in bilateral relations.
For his part, Guido Girardin Lavín confirmed that the Chilean parliament will soon ratify the Vietnam-Chile FTA in order to strengthen economic and trade ties between the two countries.
He briefed his host on the results of his talks with Chairman of the National Assembly Nguyen Sinh Hung in the morning and said a number of agreements on the environment, mineral exploitation and education will be signed during his visit.
He invited President Truong Tan Sang to visit Chile at an appropriate time.