Participants at the dialogue shared perspectives of Việt Nam and the EU on sustainable maritime development. — VNA/VNS Photo Văn Điệp
HÀ NỘI — The Vietnamese Government attaches great importance to international maritime co-operation, especially with experienced partners like the European Union and European countries, said Đinh Toàn Thắng, director of the Europe Department, Vietnamese Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
He made the statement at the Ocean Dialogue held on Wednesday in which about 150 participants shared perspectives of Việt Nam and the EU on sustainable maritime development.
Citing that EU is Việt Nam’s most important partner and Việt Nam is one of the Asia-Pacific countries with the most extensive partnership with the EU, Thắng said the two sides have great potential in maritime co-operation.
Under the framework of the Việt Nam-EU Partnership and Co-operation Agreement, the two sides are committed to strengthening co-operation in the protection and preservation of the marine and coastal environment, and to promoting effective management of ocean resources towards sustainable marine development.
"Maritime co-operation is not only a common trend in today's world, but also an obligation under international laws," Thắng said.
“Through co-operation, Việt Nam has promoted joint efforts to ensure the security, peace and stability of our seas against traditional and non-traditional maritime security challenges, and to ensure freedom of resource exploitation in waters under our sovereignty and jurisdiction.”
Thắng added maritime security is a strong area of the EU. The EU has fully developed mechanisms, policies and a framework for multilateral co-operation on sustainable marine exploitation, use, management and maintenance. All coastal EU countries have marine management capabilities with scientific, technical potential and many achievements in marine management and co-operation.
"We appreciate that the EU has implemented a number of co-operative maritime projects in Asia," he said.
"With the 1982 United Nations Convention on Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) serving as a foundation to adjust behaviours and activities at sea, a stronger Việt Nam-EU maritime co-operation contributes to ensuring the safety of the commercial transport route which connects Europe and East Asia and promoting efforts to build marine areas in the region, including the East Sea, into areas of peace, stability, freedom, inclusivity, connection and co-operation."
Head of the European Union Delegation to Việt Nam, Ambassador Giorgio Aliberti said one of the main areas of bilateral co-operation between EU and Việt Nam that presents the greatest potential is on the promotion of sustainable blue economy, which is part of the EU´s integrated maritime policy.
It encompasses diverse areas such as blue growth, marine data and knowledge, maritime spatial planning, integrated maritime surveillance, sea basin strategies and integration of policies on specific maritime sectors.
Blue growth is the EU´s long-term strategy to support sustainable growth in the marine and maritime sectors as a whole, as part of the Europe 2020 strategy for smart, sustainable and inclusive growth. The 'blue' economy represents roughly 5.4 million jobs and generates a gross added value of almost €500 billion a year to the EU, with spectacular growth in new sectors such as offshore wing energy generation and of blue biotechnology, he said.
“The EU has significant experience in fostering a sustainable maritime economy, through boosting maritime co-operation. This approach is in line with Việt Nam’s high priority on maritime issues, as reflected in the just-released resolution on the strategy of sustainable development of Việt Nam’s marine economy,” the ambassador said.
Sharing Việt Nam’s strategy on the sustainable development of maritime economy by 2030, Vũ Đình Hiếu, deputy director of Việt Nam’s Sea and Island Research Institute, said Việt Nam aims to become a strong and rich nation from its sea and the sea is one of the country's mainstays.
Việt Nam sets a target that the pure maritime economy will account for 10 per cent of GDP by 2030. Twenty-eight coastal provinces and cities are set to contribute 65-70 per cent of the country’s GDP. — VNS