VIETNAM – TURKEY RELATIONS
1. History of relations:
Before 1975, Turkey had ties with Saigon’s administration (called the Republic of Vietnam).
After the historical victory of April 30, 1975, the Socialist Republic of Vietnam and the Republic
of Turkey officially established diplomatic relations on the 7th June 1978. In February 1997, the
Turkish Government set up its Embassy in Hanoi, and then the Government of Vietnam opened
its Trade Representative Office (TRO) in Istanbul, while the Vietnamese Embassy in Sophia,
Republic of Bulgaria covering Turkey. In July 2000, the Consulate General of Vietnam was
opened in Istanbul with the TRO as a section attatched.
Since October 2003, Vietnam has been represented by her Embassy in Ankara, with His
Excellency Mr. Nguyen Sy Xung as the first resident Ambassador of Vietnam to Turkey who
presented his credentials on April 6, 2005. The official opening ceremony of the Embassy of
Vietnam was then organized on 21st June 2005 with the attendance of, among many other
distinguished diplomatic guests, Foreign Minister of Vietnam Nguyen Dy Nien who was on
an official visit to Turkey, and his Turkish counterpart, H.E Abdullah Gul.
2. Milestones in the bilateral relations:
- The two countries established a Joint Economic Commission in February 1998 with the Trade Minister of Vietnam and Interior Minister of Turkey as its two Co-Chairmen. Since then, the Commission has met in three official sessions: the first in Hanoi from 28th February to 2nd March of 2000; the second in Ankara from 24th to 25th September of 2004; and the third in Hanoi from 28th to 31st August of 2006.
- Ministerial-level visits have been taken:
Vietnam to Turkey:
o Trade Minister Lê Văn Triết (August 1997);
o Vice Chairman of National Assembly H.E Nguyễn Phúc Thanh (24th May – 5th June 1998);
o Deputy Prime Minister H.E. Nguyễn Công Tạn (28th October – 1st November 1999);
o Vice Minister of Defense H.E. Nguyễn Văn Được (September 2003);
o Trade Minister H.E. Trương Đình Tuyển (22nd – 29th August 2004);
o Foreign Minister H.E. Nguyễn Dy Niên (20th – 23rd June 2005);
o Chairperson of the National Administration for Tourism Mme. Võ Thị Thắng (27/9 – 2/10/2005).
Turkey to Vietnam:
o Foreign Minister H.E. Ismail Cem (20th – 22nd February 1998);
o State Minister Mehmet Ali Irtemcelik (28/02 - 01/3/2000)
o MOFA Deputy Undersecretary Rafet Akgunay (4/2006)
o Interior Minister Abdülkadir Aksu (28th – 31st August 2006).
3. Documents that the two countries have reached so far:
o Agreement on Trade, Economic and Technological Cooperation (February 1998)
o M.O.U on Visa Exemption for Diplomatic Passports (June 1998), which was replaced by Agreement on Visa Exemption for Diplomatic, Official and Special Passports (signed in January 2007 and became effective as of June 7, 2007).
o Agreement on Cultural, Scientific and Educational Cooperation (10/1999).
o Protocol on Agricultural Cooperation (March 2000);
o Framework Agreement on Science, Technology and Environmental Cooperation (March 2000)
o Agreement on Cooperation in Tourism (August 2004);
o M.O.U on Trade Promotion (August 2004);
o M.O.U on Development of Medium-scale and Small-scale Enterprises (August 2004);
o MOU on Consultation Mechanism between the two Foreign Ministries (June 2005);
o Turkey cleared its importation quota for the textile items of Viet Nam (11th January 2007)
4. Trade and Economic cooperation results:
In 2000, the two-way-trade-volume reached USD 43.78 million, USD 47 million (2001), USD 70 million (2002), USD 80 million (2003) and more than USD 100 million (2004).
The trade volume in 2005 reached an impressive achievement at the level of
over USD 190 million, then grew up to USD 240 million in 2006, and is estimated to reach
USD 300 million in 2007.
A Turkey – Vietnam Businessman Council was established on 24th October 2005 under sponsorship of Turkey’s Foreign Economic Relation Board (DEIK). On the Vietnamese side, considering Turkey as a potential candidate for full membership of the European Union (EU), a business forum mechanism between the two countries is to be established within the cooperation framework with EU.