Vietnam, EU push for stronger all-around cooperation

Monday, 02 February 2015

A score of measures to boost bilateral cooperation in the foresaid areas were discussed at talks between PM Dung and the EC President in Hanoi on August 25.

Host and guest informed each other about the socio-economic situation and foreign policies of each side and exchanged views on international and regional issues of mutual concern such as the East Sea issue and Asia-Europe Meeting.

PM Dung hailed the Vietnam visit by the EC President ongoing in the context that the two sides are working to accelerate the ratification of the Partnership and Cooperation Agreement (PCA) and the early conclusion of the EU-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA) negotiations and preparing for the 25th anniversary of their diplomatic ties (1990-2015).

He thanked the EC and the EU member states for supporting Vietnam’s process of boosting socio-economic development and international integration and maintaining aid provision for Vietnam in the post 2014 period.

Dung also proposed a number of measures to strengthen Vietnam-EU economic and trade relations, asking the EU soon approve the PCA, be flexible in taking into account the different levels of development between Vietnam and the EU member states in EVFTA negotiations and recognize Vietnam’s full market economy after the EVFTA is signed.\

PM Dung also praised the EU’s contributions to the process of building the ASEAN Community, Danube 
-Mekong cooperation within the ASEM framework, adding that as a coordinating country for the ASEAN-EU relations, Vietnam backs the EU’s deeper participation in regional mechanisms and will make greater efforts in building a strategic partnership between ASEAN and the EU.

The EC President, in turn, applauded Vietnam’s socio-economic achievements and expressed his belief that Vietnam will promote economic reform to become an attractive destination for foreign investors including those from EU nations.

Manuel Barroso noted with satisfaction over the positive developments in relations between Vietnam and the EU, especially in economic and trade ties and development cooperation. He also voiced his organization’s desire to further foster ASEAN-EU relations and voiced support for ASEAN's central role in shaping a regional security structure.

Regarding orientations for future cooperation, the two sides consented to strengthen delegation exchange, consultation, coordination and mutual support at regional and international forums and create more favorable conditions for businesses to run long-term investments in each other’s market.

They were also set to conclude the EVFTA negotiations prior to October this year and bolster cooperation in the areas of the EU’s strength like education and training, science and technology, natural resources and the environment, agriculture and rural development, culture, tourism, information and communications, transport and construction.

Dung and Barroso underlined the need to maintain peace, stability, security and safety of navigation in the East Sea.

The EC President reiterated the EU's stance of advocating the settlement of disputes in the East Sea by peaceful means in conformity with the UN Charter, international law, and the 1982 UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS).

They also called on concerned parties to avoid unilateral activities that escalate tensions and threaten peace, stability, security and maritime safety in the region, comply with the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the East Sea (DOC) and finalize a Code of Conduct of Parties in the East Sea (COC).

After the talks, the two leaders witnessed the signing of a document on the EU’s decision to provide 2.65 million Euros for Vietnam’s international trade and sustainable investment in the 2014-2017 period aiming to help the country build trade policies and boost EC market access effectively.