Fishery products are among Việt Nam's key exports to the EU. — VNA/VNS Photo
PRAGUE — Jan Zahradil, a member of the European Parliament (EP), has highly valued Việt Nam’s role and stature, as well as its relations with the European Union (EU) and the Czech Republic, during a recent meeting with some Vietnamese ambassadors.
Talking to the Vietnamese ambassadors to the Czech Republic, Poland, Slovakia and Belgium in the Czech town of Mikulov, Zahradil said the EP has passed a report on the Indo-Pacific strategy in the area of trade and investment which highlights the situation in the Indo-Pacific region and stresses the importance of the EU’s free trade agreements with partners in the region.
Notably, he said, the report calls on EU members to ratify the EU - Vietnam Investment Protection Agreement (EVIPA) so that it can take effect early and create optimal conditions for promoting the EU’s investment in the region and Việt Nam.
Zahradil, a representative of the Czech Republic’s Civic Democratic Party (ODS) at the EP, noted Việt Nam holds a special position in this report when it is a member of both the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP).
He also said he is impressed with Việt Nam’s economic development achievements, particularly the GDRP growth of 7.72 per cent in the second quarter and inflation kept under 3 per cent.
Addressing the meeting, Vietnamese Ambassador to the Czech Republic Thái Xuân Dũng said Việt Nam and the EU have paid attention to intensively and extensively developing their comprehensive partnership and cooperation.
The EU is currently the fifth largest trading partner and the second biggest importer of Việt Nam. Bilateral trade grew 14.8 per cent to US$63.6 billion in 2021 despite impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, he noted.
Zahradil told Vietnam News Agency that as Vietnamese people in the Czech Republic is one of the largest Vietnamese communities in the EU, he has the responsibility for consolidating Việt Nam’s relations with the Czech Republic and the EU as a whole.
Việt Nam holds a special position in Southeast Asia when it is the only country to have a free trade agreement (EVFTA) and an investment protection agreement (EVIPA) with the EU, an advantage for it to capitalise on development opportunities, according to him.
He said Việt Nam and the Czech Republic boast long-standing and sound relations, adding that serving in the EU Council’s presidency from now to the end of 2022, his country will have more chances to further promote bilateral and EU ties with Việt Nam. — VNS