Remarks by Ambassador Ahmet Akif Oktay at the Turkish National Day Reception

Ahmet Akif Oktay 29.10.2012
REMARKS BY AMBASSADOR AHMET AKİF OKTAY
AT THE TURKISH NATIONAL DAY RECEPTION
HANOI, 29 OCTOBER 2012

Your Excellency, Deputy Minister Le Luong Minh,
Distinguished Colleagues, Friends and Guests,
Ladies and Gentlemen,

Two months ago, we all shared Vietnam’s joy and pride in observing the 67th anniversary of the country’s independence. Tonight, we are celebrating the 89th anniversary of the establishment of the Turkish Republic with the same feelings. Thank you all for joining us on this occasion.
The founding fathers of the two nations, Mustafa Kemal Atatürk and Ho Chi Minh, waged similar struggles to liberate and modernize our respective countries. Today, Turkey and Vietnam are both fast developing nations, steadily increasing their prosperity, playing constructive roles in the world, and looking to the future with confidence.
As we all know, change and adaptation is a fundamental rule of life. For many years now, Turkey has been carrying out sweeping reforms, both to upgrade her domestic standards, and to be able to better cope with the rapidly changing circumstances beyond her borders. These reforms enabled Turkey to consolidate her democracy at home, pursue a more active diplomacy abroad and protect herself from the worst effects of the global financial crisis. But we know that reform is a work in progress and that there are many more tasks lying ahead of us.
Vietnam, through her own reforms, has also achieved great success in the economic, industrial, social and other fields. Like the rest of the world, Turkey has been following Vietnam’s dynamic development process with admiration. But there is much more to Vietnam than just rapid economic growth. As I had the chance to see for myself during these past 16 months, Vietnam is also blessed with a very rich culture, extraordinary natural beauty, and one of the friendliest peoples in the world. Not surprisingly, these qualities are attracting growing numbers of Turkish tourists to Vietnam. Happily, there is a similar surge in the popular interest in Vietnam toward Turkey.
Our two countries also enjoy excellent relations at the governmental level, based on mutual understanding, respect and friendship. Our bilateral cooperation has been on a steep upward trajectory for a number of years and this is clearly visible in many areas. Let me cite a few examples:
-In mid-2010, Turkey became a dialogue partner of ASEAN during Vietnam’s presidency of the organization and Vietnam joined CICA with strong Turkish support.
-At the end of the same year, Turkey’s national carrier started direct flights between Ho Chi Minh City and Istanbul, and six months later, increased their frequency from 4 to 7 days a week.
-Last year, the volume of the bilateral trade reached 1,1 billion dollars for the first time, making Turkey Vietnam’s largest export market in West Asia. Our shared goal is to double this figure in the near future.
-These days, we are preparing for the first ever Turkish Products Exhibition in Vietnam, which is scheduled to be held in Ho Chi Minh City next May.
As we approach the 35th anniversary of our diplomatic relations in 2013, we are working on many other projects and a number of high-level visits with a view to giving further impetus to our partnership. I certainly feel privileged to be serving in Hanoi during this exciting and productive period.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
As the saying goes, all good things, including National Day speeches, inevitably come to an end! Before concluding, however, I would like to invite all of you to join us in a toast
to the 89th anniversary of the Republic of Turkey,
to the well-being, prosperity and friendship of the Turkish, Vietnamese and all other peoples represented here,
to the health and happiness of the leaders of both countries,
and to our distinguished Guest of Honor, His Excellency Mr. Le Luong Minh, with our warmest congratulations and best wishes on his upcoming new assignment.
Thank you.

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