Vietnam and the Czech Republic have agreed to negotiate and sign a new cultural cooperation agreement to replace the existing one inked in 1997.
The agreement was reached during a meeting between Minister of Culture, Sports and Tourism Nguyen Ngoc Thien and the Czech Republic Minister of Culture Daniel Herman in Prague on June 13 within the framework of Thien’s visit to the Czech Republic for the closing ceremony of the Viet Nam Culture Year.
The two ministers discussed measures to foster cultural and tourism cooperation in the coming time. They hailed fruitful results of cultural cooperation so far and said cultural exchanges contributed to enhancing mutual understanding and friendship between the two countries.
Minister Thien proposed exchanging art troupes and sending Vietnamese students to the Czech Republic to study opera and classical music.
Minister Herman acknowledged Mr Thien proposal and suggested that regular cooperation programs should be carried out between two countries’ cultural institutions, including national museums of ethnology of Vietnam and Czech Republic.
Mr Herman said the Czech Republic has paid attention to resuming cooperation between the two national symphony orchestras and studying Viet Nam’s water puppetry.
He appreciated Vietnam’s initiative to organize the Vietnam Culture Year in the Czech Republic in 2015 to mark the 65th anniversary of diplomatic ties and said it helped promote Vietnam’s images to Czech people.
Minister Thien had a working session with Minister of Regional Development Karla Slechtova the same day. The two ministers realized that tourism cooperation has not matched the two countries’ potential. The number of tourist arrivals to the two countries remained modest.
Visa restriction is a big obstacle in tourism cooperation. They proposed that the two governments simplify the visa application process (here is current procedure regarding Vietnam visa for Czech) and open direct air routes to facilitate citizens’ travelling.
The Czech Government tries to create possible conditions for Vietnamese citizens to visit the country. After this issue is solved, the number of visitors will certainly increase and then the Czech Republic will consider signing a cooperation agreement in tourism with Viet Nam, Mrs Slechtova noted.
On the same day, Minister Thien attended the closing ceremony of Vietnam Culture Year in the Czech Republic.