Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs To Anh Dung highlighted comprehensive developments of the Vietnam-EU relationship and considered prospects for the ties in a recent article published on the occasion of the 30th anniversary of the bilateral diplomatic ties (November 28).
Over the past three decades, the diplomatic ties have made rapid, outstanding strides, expanding from cooperation in certain areas to a comprehensive partnership, he said, noting this has affirmed the trust-worthy and friendly spirit and shared long-term vision of the two sides in efforts to elevate the bilateral relations and contribute to peace, cooperation and development regionally and globally.
The Deputy FM attributed the achievement to the dynamic shift from traditional fields to other potential realms.
The EU is one of Vietnam’s leading and strategic partners, which holds an important role in the international arena in terms of security and peace, as well as economy and development, Dung affirmed.
Meanwhile, Vietnam is a strong partner of the EU in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and Asia-Pacific.
The two sides’ efforts to promote their bilateral ties can be seen in the regular exchange of high-ranking delegations and their close coordination in various fields, he added.
The two sides also supported each other in the COVID-19 pandemic fight, and the EU has provided aid for Vietnam’s central provinces affected by natural disasters last October, the official went on.
In the article, Dung highlighted the signing and ratification of the EU-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA), effective since last August, as a milestone in the bilateral ties.
Currently, the EU is Vietnam’s fifth largest trade partner, third biggest importer, a major investor and leading non-refundable aid provider.
Along with economic and trade collaboration – the main pillar of the partnership – many other cooperative areas have also made progress over the past time, notably the signing of the EU-Vietnam Framework Agreement on Comprehensive Partnership and Cooperation (FPA), and the Forest Law Enforcement, Governance and Trade Voluntary Partnership Agreement (VGA/FLEGT).
Vietnam and other ASEAN member countries wish that the EU will play a more active and constructive role in the region, for peace and prosperity, promoting multilateralism, free trade and the rule of law, he said.
As ASEAN Chair 2020, Vietnam has raised its voice and made marked contributions, according to the official.
The country has also successfully performed its role as a non-permanent member of the United Nations Security Council for the 2020-2021 tenure, and the Chair of the ASEAN Inter-Parliamentary Assembly (AIPA).
For its part, the EU has stepped up its close and comprehensive cooperation with ASEAN and its member countries, including Vietnam, and has clearly and strongly affirmed its stance on issues relating to navigation security, legal order, peace and stability in the East Sea, Dung said.
During the 30 years of cooperation and development, the relationship between Vietnam and the EU has made long-term strides on the basis of strategic, in-depth strategic visions, towards higher level, he stressed.