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Romanian PM pays first visit to Vietnam in 21 years

HANOI, July 12 (Xinhua) -- Romanian Prime Minister Dacian Ciolos said here Tuesday that his ongoing visit to Vietnam is the first of this kind in the past 21 years.

Romanian Prime Minister Dacian Ciolos made the remark at a joint press briefing with his Vietnamese counterpart Nguyen Xuan Phuc in Vietnam's capital Hanoi on Tuesday.

According to Ciolos, during talks with Phuc, two leaders discussed cooperation in potential areas of energy, trade, agriculture and infrastructure.

The visiting Romanian prime minister said as his country is an active member of the European Union (EU) while Vietnam is a founding member of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), two countries can take roles as bridgehead to connect the two regions.

Announcing that his government intended to double the number of scholarships granted for Vietnamese youth to study in Romania, the Romanian PM added that over 3,500 Vietnamese people have studied in Romania.

Elaborating regional cooperation between Vietnam's southern Mekong Delta province of Ben Tre and Romania's Danube Delta County of Tulcea, the Romania PM said the ties hold potentials in bilateral and inter-regional cooperation between the Europe and the Southeast Asia.

The two countries will boost cooperation in international and regional organizations including the United Nations and International Organization of La Francophonie among others, said the Romanian guest.

Vietnamese PM Nguyen Xuan Phuc, for his part, said at the press briefing that despite positive developments over past time, the bilateral ties between Vietnam and Romania remains modest compared to the two sides' potentials.

Phuc urges the two countries to boost cooperation in areas with strengths such as electricity, railway, agriculture, shipbuilding, and labor.

Prior to the press briefing, two leaders held talks and witnessed the signing of three cooperation agreements between Vietnam and Romania in culture, education-training and electricity transmission.

At the invitation of Vietnamese PM Nguyen Xuan Phuc, Romanian Prime Minister Dacian Ciolos is touring Vietnam from Monday to Thursday.

Vietnam and Romania established diplomatic ties 66 years ago.

In 2015, bilateral trade revenue reached some 175.6 million U.S. dollars, compared to over 10 million U.S. dollars during 1995-1999 period, statistics by Vietnam's state-run news agency VNA showed.

In the first four months of 2016, bilateral trade revenue between Vietnam and Romania hit over 46 million U.S. dollars. Vietnam mainly exported coffee, seafood, garment, footwear, electronic products and computers to Romania while importing wheat flour, tools and accessories, chemicals, steel material among others from the European country.

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