09:51 | 05/09/2014 Cooperation
(VEN) - In his meetings with high-ranking leaders of Vietnam’s Communist Party, State and Government during his visit to the country from August 25-26, European Commission (EC) President Joseù Manuel Duraõo Barroso affirmed that the EU attached great importance to economic cooperation with Vietnam and highly appreciated Vietnam’s role as a coordinator of the relations between the Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) and the European Union (EU).
Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung (right) and EC President José Manuel Duraõ Barroso
Vietnam to remain an attractive destination
In talks with Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung, the two leaders expressed their satisfaction of seeing the impressive growth of bilateral relations. Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung highly appreciated the Framework Agreement on Comprehensive Partnership and Cooperation (PCA) between Vietnam and the EU, considering it as a breakthrough in the quality of bilateral partnership which allowed the two sides to broaden and deepen traditional relations in the field of trade and other fields such as environment, climate change, science and technology, transport, tourism, energy, education and culture.
EC President Joseù Manuel Duraõo Barroso said that the EU and Vietnam were striving to finish negotiations on the EU-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement (FTA) as soon as possible. This FTA is expected to bring businesses many new opportunities, increase foreign direct investment flows, promote economic growth and employment.
The EC President added that the economic relations between Vietnam and the EU had developed in a positive manner. The EU has been Vietnam’s largest export market and second largest trading partner. In the first seven months of 2014, bilateral trade totaled US$21.4 billion, including US$15.5 billion worth of Vietnamese exports to the EU and US$5.9 billion worth of Vietnamese imports from the EU. The structure of Vietnamese exports to the EU has changed, increasing the percentage of high quality products, clean food and handicrafts and reducing the percentage of medium quality products and raw agricultural products.
In the field of investment, the EU has become the largest foreign investor in Vietnam. EC President Joseù Manuel Duraõo Barroso expressed his belief that Vietnam would remain an attractive destination to foreign investors, including European investors and businesses.
The two sides agreed to continue encouraging and creating favorable conditions for Vietnamese and European businesses to boost investment, trade and establish partner relations, especially in priority areas such as industry, infrastructure, transport, energy, finance, services, healthcare, space applications and tourism.
The EU highly appreciates Vietnam’s position
EC President Joseù Manuel Duraõo Barroso highly appreciated Vietnam’s role as an important partner of the EU as well as an important member of ASEAN and its global position. The two leaders put emphasis on the importance of ASEAN-EU cooperation and highly appreciated Vietnam’s role as a coordinator of ASEAN-EU relations and a co-chair of a recent ASEAN-EU Foreign Ministers Meeting.
EC President Joseù Manuel Duraõo Barroso acknowledged the achievements Vietnam had gained in the process of implementing its renovation policy and making a shift to the market economy. He encouraged Vietnam to continue its economic reforms. The EU pledged to support Vietnam’s renovation efforts through development cooperation and reaffirmed that the EU would considerably increase development aid for Vietnam from EUR300 million in the period from 2007-2013 to EUR400 million from 2014-2020.
On the Vietnamese side, Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung highly appreciated the EU’s strong support for Vietnam’s development efforts and acclaimed the selection of major cooperation areas including sustainable energy, administration and jurisdiction, which matched Vietnam’s development priorities./.
By Hoa Le