In his speech at a ceremony in Hanoi on November 29 marking the UAE’s 47th National Day (December 2) and the 25th founding anniversary of diplomatic ties with Vietnam, the diplomat said the UAE has become a major trade partner of Vietnam in the Middle East and Africa with bilateral trade exceeding US$6 billion, accounting for one-third of Vietnam’s trade with regional countries. The two nations are working harder to bring two-way trade to roughly US$10 billion by 2020, he noted, adding that the UAE is seen as a major gateway for Vietnamese goods to enter Africa and the Middle East, while Vietnam is also a gateway for the UAE to gain access to Southeast Asia. UAE airlines’ opening of daily flights between Hanoi/Ho Chi Minh City and Dubai by has helped increase the number of tourists from the Middle East and Africa to Vietnam and vice versa. Flights by Vietnamese carriers to regional countries have also provided extra leverage to bilateral ties. Vietnamese Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Nguyen Phuong Nga showed her belief that under the sound leadership of President Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the UAE people will continue achieve greater success and making positive contributions to peace and stability in the region and the world. She also hailed the sound bilateral friendship and all-around cooperation, especially in politics, diplomacy, trade, and investment over the past 25 years in expectation for a significant breakthrough in the relationship between the two nations.