Imprints of 25 years of Vietnam-EU partnership



Vietnam and the EU will celebrate the 25th anniversary of diplomatic ties in 2015. On the occasion, a Vietnam News Agency reporter in Belgium interviewed the Head of the Vietnamese delegation to the EU, Ambassador Vuong Thua Phong.


According to Ambassador Vuong Thua Phong, the EU is the number one partner of Vietnam’s foreign policy. The two sides have witnessed rapid development of their relationship over the years.


In the political field, after signing the Partnership Cooperation Agreement (PCA), the two sides increased the number of delegation exchanges, including the visits to the EU by the Party General Secretary, Prime Minister and National Assembly Chairman and the visits to Vietnam by the European Commission  President, the European Council President and Representative of the EU for Foreign Affairs & Security. The two sides also exchanged many delegations at all levels, ministries, sectors and localities, thus boosting bilateral ties in security, politics, education, culture, environmental protection and climate change.


Among Vietnam’s 13 strategic partners, five are EU members, namely the UK, France, Germany, Italy, and Spain. EU member countries are Vietnam’s strategic partners in various fields. In the near future, the two sides will sign the EU-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA) which will mark a milestone in bilateral ties.


The ambassador highlighted that the EU is currently the leading export market of Vietnam with two-way trade hitting about 35 billion dollars in 2014. Vietnam’s trade surplus was over 10 billion dollars. The goods and services of Vietnam and the EU complement each other and are less directly competitive. Among the 28-member EU, 23 countries have direct investment in Vietnam with a total capital of 18 billion dollars.


The union is the largest ODA provider to Vietnam, pledging to raise the amount for 2014-2020 by 30 percent to 400 million euros.


He revealed that in celebration of the 25th anniversary of diplomatic ties between Vietnam and the EU, in addition to increasing delegation exchanges, Vietnam and the EU will organise a number of seminars, conferences and cultural exchanges. The EU will arrange a contest to learn about the EU for Vietnamese people.


The Vietnamese delegation to the EU will debut the EU-Vietnam Friendship Parliamentarian Organisation at the EU Parliament and sign the EVFTA in the first half of 2015.

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