EU deal signals dawn of a new trade era
HA NOI (VNS)- Participants at a seminar in Ha Noi yesterday agreed that the signing of a partnership and co-operation agreement (PCA) between Viet Nam and the European Union last June would open the door to a multitude of ties between the two sides.
Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Bui Thanh Son said that the agreement marked an important development.
"I believe the agreement will enhance relations between the two sides in future in all aspects of politics, economy and co-operation," Son said, adding that the PCA would boost co-operation in addressing global issues.
These included protecting international peace and security, counter terrorism, organised crime, money laundering and coping with climate change.
Head of the EU delegation to Viet Nam, Franz Jessen, said that the new PCA demonstrated the commitment of the EU to forge an upgraded, broader and more mature partnership with Viet Nam, a partner willing to take on increasing responsibilities on the world scene – and an active and central actor in ASEAN.
"I hope this agreement will soon be complemented by an ambitious EU-Viet Nam Free Trade Agreement," he said. "The first round of negotiations were recently held in Ha Noi."
Head of the Vietnamese Foreign Ministry's EU Affairs Department, Tran Ngoc An, said that in 2005, Viet Nam was the first country in Southeast Asia to have a strategic plan for relations with the EU.
"The PCA, however, will have to go through a separate rectification process by the 27 EU member states and the European Parliament. The process can last for a couple of years," An said. — VNS