The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the European Union (EU) delegation to Vietnam on June 4 organised a seminar to launch the Vietnam-EU Strategic Dialogue Facility as part of the Vietnam-EU Partnership and Cooperation Agreement (PCA).
In his opening speech, Deputy Foreign Minister Bui Thanh Son said one of the facility’s objectives is to help Vietnam realise other cooperation activities within the PCA.
The Deputy Minister expressed his hope that through the seminar, representatives from ministerial and local agencies will have opportunities to access up-to-date information and evaluations of both Vietnam and the EU on the two sides’ relations, especially in trade, investment, ODA and PCA implementation with the EU’s support. Then they can actively propose suitable cooperation areas, boosting ties with the EU and its members, he added.
According to the Deputy Minister, the PCA signed in June 2012 meets the demand on a new legal framework, and is a manifestation of the rapidly increasing and dynamic relations between Vietnam and the EU, marking a milestone in the development of ties towards equality and comprehensive cooperation.
The implementation of the 2011-2012 PCA has successfully concluded, and the two sides are now discussing the 2013-2014 stage, he added.
Vietnam , as a PCA signatory, pledges to follow its regulations. Besides its own efforts, the assistance and support of the EU as well as its members are greatly needed, the Deputy Minister said.
Head of the EU delegation to Vietnam , Ambassador Franz Jessen, said development cooperation has always been an important part of the cooperation between the EU and Vietnam .
The Vietnamese Government and the EU have identified several prioritised fields for the early implementation of the PCA, Jessen said, pledging to continue the PCA approval and implementation process, and make full use of the cooperation opportunities it may create.
According to him, the new PCA demonstrates the EU’s commitment to forge a modern, broad-based and mutually-beneficially partnership with Vietnam , a partner willing to take on increasing responsibilities in the world arena, and an active and central force in ASEAN, he added.
Also at the seminar, EU representatives announced the launch of the Vietnam-EU Strategic Dialogue and related activities to run in 2013.
Accordingly, the EU delegation to Vietnam will provide 2.9 million EUR from February 2013 – 2016. Main activities focus on policy related research, technological support, organising seminars and training courses.
The facility aims to enhance strategic dialogues between Vietnam and the EU, supporting the PCA through sharing experience, good practices and examples in the prioritised fields.
It also aims to support Vietnam realise its socio-economic development plan in the strategic fields.
Despite the economic crisis, two-way trade between Vietnam and the EU in 2012 still exceeded 29 billion USD, up nearly 20 percent from 2011.
EU nations are among the leading investors in Vietnam . By the end of March 2013, 22 of the 27 EU members invested in 1,299 valid projects in Vietnam , with registered capital totalling over 17 billion USD.-VNA