EU - one of Vietnam’s most important partners: Prime Minister

Vietnam always regards the EU as one of the most important partners in its foreign policy, Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh affirmed at a reception for visiting European Commission (EC) Executive Vice President Valdis Dombrovskis in Hanoi on November 2.
EU - one of Vietnam’s most important partners: Prime Minister
Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh received visiting European Commission (EC) Executive Vice President Valdis Dombrovskis in Hanoi on November 2. (Photo: VNA)

The EU is Vietnam’s fourth largest trade partner, while Vietnam is its biggest trade partner in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN). The EU is also the sixth largest investor in Vietnam.

Chinh appreciated the EU’s consideration of climate change adaptation one of the three focuses of cooperation with Vietnam for 2021-2027, and thanked the EU for its 210 million EUR (222.55 million USD) in non-refundable aid to Vietnam in the 2021-2024 period.

He suggested the EU accelerate the implementation of its free trade agreement with Vietnam (EVFTA), and create more favourable conditions for Vietnamese goods to enter the market, especially agricultural and aquatic products, striving to bring two-way trade to 100 billion USD.

Vietnam is committed to further facilitating the operations of EU enterprises, he said, adding that EU firms should be encouraged to invest in the country in such areas as digital transformation, energy transformation, sustainable development, climate change response, high technology, and logistics infrastructure in which they have strengths.

The PM called on Dombrovskis, who is also the EU's Trade Commissioner, to urge remaining EU member countries to soon ratify the EU-Vietnam Investment Protection Agreement (EVIPA), and the EC to soon remove its “yellow card” against illegal, unreported, and unregulated (IUU) fishing in Vietnam.

For his part, Dombrovskis highly valued Vietnam’s development and cooperation potential, saying the Vietnam-EU relations are thriving, especially after the signing of the EVFTA.

Vietnam and the EU share the goal of sustainable development, particularly in green economy and circular economy, he said, reiterating the Southeast Asian nation’s commitments to achieving net zero emissions by 2050, and participating in the Just Energy Transition Partnership (JETP).

The EU and its member countries view Vietnam as a leading important partner in the region and the world, and wish to promote relations with it across spheres as mentioned by the PM, he emphasised.

Praising Vietnam's contributions as a non-permanent member of the UN Security Council, the UN Human Rights Council and other international organisations, Dombrovski noted his hope that Vietnam will play a more active role in global affairs, for peace, stability, cooperation and development.

Chinh asked the EU to cooperate and provide consultation for Vietnam in green economy, circular economy and climate change response, and step up financial support for the country within the JETP.

The PM said he hopes that the EU will strengthen cooperation within the framework of ASEAN and the Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM), pledging that Vietnam stands ready to work as a bridge between the EU and other ASEAN countries to seize opportunities and resolve common challenges, especially those regarding environment and climate change, green transition, digital transformation, infrastructure connection, and capacity building for the health system.

The two sides shared ASEAN’s views on ensuring safety, security, and freedom of aviation and navigation in the East Sea, the full and serious implementation of the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the East Sea (DOC), and pushing ahead with the negotiations and building of an effective and efficient Code of Conduct in the East Sea (COC) in accordance with international law, including the 1982 UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), for peace, stability, cooperation, and development in the region and the world.

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(Source: VNA)