Prime Minister Nguyễn Xuân Phúc told European Commissioner for Agriculture and Rural Development Phil Hogan that Việt Nam wants to sign a free trade agreement (FTA) with the European Union (EU) soon. — Photo VGP
HÀ NỘI – Prime Minister Nguyễn Xuân Phúc told European Commissioner for Agriculture and Rural Development Phil Hogan that Việt Nam wants to sign a free trade agreement (FTA) with the European Union (EU) soon.
At a reception in Hà Nội yesterday for the EU official, PM Phúc also asked for EU technical assistance in implementing the planned FTA. He pledged optimal conditions for EU investors in agriculture and farm produce processing.
The Government leader affirmed Việt Nam’s commitments to protecting forests and wildlife. He also agreed with the European Commissioner’s proposal to establish a working group to further promote bilateral trade and investment ties.
Hogan said the EU is accelerating the approval of the EU-Việt Nam FTA, completed in December 2015, so that the two sides can sign it in late 2017 or early 2018, promising to provide technical and financial support for Việt Nam to deal with natural disasters and climate change.
The guest pointed to great demand in EU countries for coffee, cashew nuts and farm produce, and hailed Việt Nam as an attractive market and a gateway for exports to regional countries.
Hogan told his host that a number of EU firms will invest more capital in Việt Nam, particularly in agriculture and retail, in the foreseeable future.
Trade with Sweden
The PM wants the new Ambassador of Sweden to help boost the two countries’ trade and investment to exceed the current figure of US$1.2 billion.
Hosting Ambassador Pereric Hogberg yesterday, Phúc said that Sweden is currently in 39th position among countries and territories investing in Việt Nam, and it hopes to welcome additional Swedish investors.
The two countries have established reliable political ties and should broaden their co-operation in other fields besides education and training, science and technology, he said.
Ambassador Hogberg told his host about the keen interest of Swedish business in Việt Nam, citing car manufacturer Volvo with a plan to open showrooms in Hà Nội and HCM City next month.
He noted that the recent launch of a direct air route between Sweden and Việt Nam’s Phú Quốc island will help bolster the two countries’ co-operation. – VNS