HÀ NỘI Việt Nam will spare no effort to promote its relations with the European Union (EU), Prime Minister Nguyễn Xuân Phúc said while meeting with Federica Mogherini, Vice President of the European Commission and High Representative of the EU for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, in Hà Nội yesterday.
PM Phúc said ties between his country and the international body have seen positive recent development, strengthening the EU-ASEAN partnership and making significant contributions to regional peace and stability.
The two sides have carried out a wide range of co-operation mechanisms, including the joint committee under the EU-Việt Nam Comprehensive Partnership and Cooperation Framework Agreement (PCA) and the EU-Việt Nam Human Rights Dialogue, he said, adding that they have begun implementing the Voluntary Partnership Agreement on Forest Law Enforcement, Governance and Trade (VPA/FLEGT).
The PM spoke praised the signing of the EU-Việt Nam Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA) and the EU-Việt Nam Investment Protection Agreement (EVIPA), and proposed the European Parliament quickly ratify the pacts so both sides can begin to take advantage of co-operation opportunities and affirm their commitments to free trade and investment.
He also asked the EU to continue assisting Việt Nam in working towards the removal of the “yellow card” warning on Vietnamese seafood and in the fight against illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing. He suggested the EU create favourable conditions for Vietnamese businesses to expand their markets in the EU.
Hailing the fruitful defence co-operation between the two sides, PM Phúc expressed his hope that together with other bilateral agreements on science, technology and environmental protection, Việt Nam and the EU will ink a Framework Participation Agreement (FPA) for peace, co-operation and development.
Welcoming the EU’s and Mogherini’s interests in the Southeast Asian region, PM Phúc said he expected that EU-ASEAN ties and the Việt Nam-EU cooperation will be further enhanced in 2020 when Việt Nam assumes the role of ASEAN Chair and becomes a non-permanent member of the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) for the 2020-21 tenure.
Việt Nam applauds the EU’s stance on supporting freedom, security and safety of navigation in the East Sea, he said, recommending the EU maintain its viewpoint on heightening respect for international law, including the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), settling disputes through peaceful means and not complicating the situation, contributing to maintaining peace, stability and freedom and safety of navigation and aviation in the area.
Mogherini, for her part, stressed that the Việt Nam-EU ties have developed strongly in recent years, thereby helping to consolidate the EU’s relations with ASEAN.
She highlighted her expectations about the EVFTA and the EVIPA, saying the deals have laid the foundations for the two sides to step up bilateral relations in the future.
Speaking highly of Việt Nam’s efforts to improve ties with the EU across the fields of economy, culture, labour and cybersecurity, she said they provide a good basis for the European Parliament to adopt the agreements.
Meeting with top legislator
The EC’s Vice President met Chairwoman of the Vietnamese National Assembly Nguyễn Thị Kim Ngân later the same day.
NA Chairwoman Ngân said Việt Nam always considers the European Union one of its leading partners, especially in economics, trade and investment.
Ngân expressed her delight at new steps of development in the bilateral comprehensive cooperation and partnership.
Following Việt Nam’s approval of a resolution on its accession to the International Labour Organisation’s Right to Organise and Collective Bargaining Convention No.98 in June, the country’s legislature is working with the Government to speed up the consideration and approval of the organisation’s Conventions No.108 and 87, she stated, adding that the move reflects its determination and efforts to implement commitments related to labour standards, which are mentioned in the EVFTA.
The top legislator voiced her hope that the European Parliament and European member states soon ratify the EVFTA and EVIPA to realise both sides’ commitments to liberated trade and investment.
She told the guest that she has urged the Government to complete procedures so that the legislature can ratify the two deals in October.
Mogherini affirmed the EU’s continued support for Việt Nam, especially in 2020 when it assumes the roles as the ASEAN Chair, a non-permanent member of the UN Security Council in the 2020-21 tenure, and the Chair of the ASEAN Inter-Parliamentary Assembly (AIPA).
Both host and guest said that the signing and ratification of legal documents and the high frequency of visits by the two sides’ leaders demonstrate the priority of each side to bilateral relations in its foreign policy, and open new prospects in bilateral ties.
Regarding the East Sea issue, Ngân affirmed Việt Nam’s consistent stance of solving disputes by peaceful means in accordance with international law, including the 1982 UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS).
Sharing the view, Mogherini stressed the importance of respecting international law, particularly the UNCLOS 1982, in ensuring aviation and maritime freedom.
According to Mogherini, lying on an important maritime route, the East Sea brings about both economic and security benefits for numerous nations, including those in the EU.
Later the same day, she met Vietnamese Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Phạm Bình Minh. VNS