Chairman of the Vietnamese National Assembly Vương Đình Huệ meets President of the European Council Charles Michel on Wednesday in Brussel. —VNA/VNS Photo Doãn Tấn
BRUSSELS — Chairman of the Vietnamese National Assembly Vương Đình Huệ and President of the European Council Charles Michel on Wednesday agreed to further enhance cooperation between the two sides, emphasising the significant role of the Vietnamese legislature and the European Parliament (EP).
During their meeting in Brussels, Michel welcomed the working visit to the European Council and the EP by the Vietnamese delegation to discuss issues of shared concern across spheres, especially mutual support in the COVID-19 fight and post-pandemic recovery, and ASEAN-EU cooperation.
Michel also shared his views on peace and security in Indo-Pacific and the rules-based order, and affirmed that the EU wants to expand and deepen cooperation with Southeast Asia, including Việt Nam.
For his part, Huệ said this is his first visit to Europe in his capacity as NA Chairman and on behalf of Việt Nam’s high-ranking leaders in the new tenure, which demonstrates the importance Việt Nam attaches to the EU and the EP.
The EU is a leading partner of Việt Nam in terms of trade and investment, he said, noting that after more than one year of implementing the EVFTA, bilateral trade expanded 18 per cent despite a range of difficulties caused by COVID-19.
The Vietnamese legislature has played an important role in the preparation, signing, ratification and implementation of the trade deal, and approved the revised Labour Code as well as the roadmap on joining fundamental conventions of the International Labour Organisation (ILO), Huệ said.
Huệ called on the EU to assist and share its experience with Việt Nam in areas such as sustainable development, digital economy, green economy, and high-quality personnel development.
Regarding the pandemic fight, Huệ thanked the EU for its donation of 2.4 million doses of vaccines, saying he hoped that the European Council and the European Commission will prioritise Việt Nam in accessing Europe’s vaccine sources via the COVAX Facility or sharing redundant vaccines, and provide the Southeast Asian nation with medical supplies and COVID-19 treatment drugs.
The top legislator said with its capacity and efforts to ensure vaccines for domestic demand and the region, Việt Nam would like to receive the European Council’s support for cooperation in vaccine production in the country.
Việt Nam has made efforts to deal with illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing, he said, calling for the European Council’s support so that the European Commission will soon remove the “yellow card” against the country.
Việt Nam also stands ready to cooperate with the EU in issues relating to human rights in the spirit of candidness, openness, mutual respect and understanding, he affirmed.
Huệ also said Việt Nam will continue to closely coordinate with the EU and the EP in multilateral cooperation mechanisms, and is willing to work as a bridge between the EU and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN).
The EU side pledged to further assist Việt Nam in the pandemic combat, including the access to COVID-19 vaccines and drugs, and medical supplies.
The two sides also discussed measures to lift the “yellow card” warning against Việt Nam’s seafood products, and narrow differences in human rights-related matters.
For regional and international issues, they shared the view that in the face of COVID-19 and climate change, it is necessary to restructure the global economy and join efforts and actions to respond to climate change.
They voiced their support for an ASEAN region of stability, peace and prosperity, and maintaining security, safety and freedom of navigation and aviation on the basis of respect for international law, including the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS).
Meeting with leaders of economic group
NA Chairman Huệ hosted separate receptions for representatives of several economic groups in Belgium on Wednesday.
At a meeting with Senior Director, International Government Relations at ExxonMobil (the US) Peter Lavoy, Hue appreciated the corporation’s efforts to implement and complete the signing of the agreement in principles on guarantee and commitments of the Government.
He said that Cá Voi Xanh (Blue Whale) project with a total investment of US$20 billion to produce offshore natural gas in central Việt Nam is an important condition for Việt Nam to build and operate gas-fired power plants in the central region, suggesting ExxonMobil and the Vietnam Oil and Gas Group (PetroVietnam) continue to work closely to maintain the schedule and bring the first gas flow ashore by 2024.
Việt Nam's policy is to increase wind power, gradually reduce coal-fueled power, and increase liquefied petroleum gas, Huệ said, asking the corporation to resume construction of refining and petrochemical projects in Việt Nam, which are being delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The top legislator also asked Lavoy to urge the US government to donate more COVID-19 vaccines or transfer redundant vaccines to help Việt Nam step up the fight against the pandemic, including in industrial parks, to ensure that supply chains are not disrupted.
Receiving Fabien De Jonge, member of the Board of Directors of Infra Asia Investment (IAI) which has invested US$1.2 billion in industrial zones in Hải Phòng City and Quảng Ninh Province, the Vietnamese leader hailed the company’s intention to expand investment in Việt Nam in the fields of renewable energy, wind and solar power.
During his meeting with Eddy Bruyninckx, a representative of International Port Engineering & Investments Limited (IPEI), Hue affirmed that Việt Nam is paying special attention to developing the logistics industry. He spoke highly of the company’s activities in Việt Nam, particularly investment projects in industrial zones in Hải Phòng and Quảng Ninh.
He suggested the company and other partners continue to study and share experience in the construction of industrial parks with international standards, in order to attract more ODA capital.
Việt Nam is committed to accompanying and creating favourable conditions for investors to invest and do business in the country, the NA Chairman added.
At the meetings, foreign investors appreciated Việt Nam's efforts in socio-economic development and COVID-19 prevention and control. They also acknowledged the Vietnamese legislature’s renovations in accompanying the Government, thus creating favourable conditions in terms of policies and laws for investors to invest and do business in Việt Nam. — VNS