|Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung meets with Bernd Lange, Chairman of the European Parliament's International Trade Committee in Ha Noi yesterday. — VNA/VNS Photo Duc Tam
HA NOI (VNS) — Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung pushed hard to assure that the Viet Nam – European Union free trade agreement (FTA) will be signed by mid-2015, describing it as a key milestone for the development of their ties.
The leader requested support in speeding up the process at a meeting with Bernd Lange, Chairman of the European Parliament's International Trade Committee, held yesterday in Ha Noi.
Dung appreciated Lange's visit, marking the 25th anniversary of their diplomatic ties as well as the final stage of FTA negotiations. As signators to and monitors of the FTA, the European Parliament plays a key role in its adoption.
The EU was one of Viet Nam's most important partners, Dung told his guest, before suggesting that the bloc should approve the Viet Nam –EU Partnership and Cooperation Agreement (PCA) soon and recognise Viet Nam as a full market economy.
The host appealed for the EU's flexible approach when considering Viet Nam's interests in agro-fisheries, leather, footwear and garments in FTA negotiations.
According to Dung, the FTA will not only boost their economic ties but also help Viet Nam fine-tune its market economy regulations, making it easier to attract domestic and international investment inflows.
Viet Nam welcomes EU investors and views the successes of foreign investors as its own.
Lange said the European Parliament would take note of Viet Nam's proposals and believed that the FTA would be signed in the near future since the comprehensive deal offers wide-ranging benefits to both sides.
He also spoke highly of Viet Nam's commitment to and detailed roadmap for future FTA talks and enforcement. —VNS