Elevating Vietnam-EU comprehensive partnership and cooperation

Monday, 2019-07-01 15:39:38
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Permanent Deputy Foreign Minister Bui Thanh Son.
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NDO – EVFTA and EVIPA have marked an important transformation in Vietnam-European Union (EU) comprehensive partnership and cooperation, while affirming the two sides’ mutual benefits and commitment to facilitating international economic connectivity, free trade and equal and transparent investment.

>>> Vietnam, EU sign free trade, investment protection agreements

Permanent Deputy Foreign Minister Bui Thanh Son made the remarks on the occasion of Vietnam and the EU officially signing the Vietnam-EU Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA) and the EU-Vietnam Investment Protection Agreement (EVIPA).

He highlighted the significant efforts made by Vietnamese and EU agencies during the process of negotiating and agreeing on the content of the two aforementioned deals in order to move towards the June 30 signing.

According to the diplomat, it was not a simple process. Firstly, the EU was forced to focus on resolving many important internal issues, such as Brexit (the United Kingdom leaving the EU) and the European Parliamentary (EP) elections. Second, the EU has strict regulations on procedures for signing international trade agreements. EVFTA must be translated into the languages of all the 28 EU member countries so that they could check the documents’ contents. In addition, the adoption of the decision to sign the deals required the consensus of the majority of the member nations.

Given the significance of EVFTA and EVIPA, the Prime Minister had directed relevant ministries and branches, especially the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA), the Ministry of Industry and Trade (MOIT), and the Ministry of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs to actively work with the EU agencies to accelerate the prompt signing of the agreements. The Government leader assigned the MOFA to coordinate with the MOIT in conducting political-diplomatic mobilisation and working with the EU side to facilitate the signing and ratification of EVFTA and EVIPA as soon as possible. The contents of EVFTA and EVIPA were openly discussed during the meetings and working sessions between Vietnam’s all-level leaders and leaders of EU member countries and bodies. According to Deputy Foreign Minister Son, the EU members’ early adoption of the decision to sign EVFTA and EVIPA has affirmed that the EU highly appreciates Vietnam’s role and position, while attaching great importance to bilateral comprehensive partnership and cooperation. It was also the result of a process of close and effective coordination between the two sides’ agencies. This is the foundation for Vietnam and the EU to continue finalising the ratification process so that these two agreements can soon come into force.

Vietnam and the EU sign EVFTA and EVIPA in Hanoi on June 30.

The diplomat stated that 2019 marks a new phase of Vietnam’s international economic integration. The dynamic activities at different levels in the first six months of the year are clear evidence affirming the comprehensiveness and extensiveness of international economic integration. Vietnam’s participation in new-generation FTAs, particularly the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) and EVFTA, is an important breakthrough in the country’s international integration. Becoming signatories to CPTPP and EVFTA has demonstrated Vietnam’s strong commitment to comprehensive and reforms and international integration, while creating opportunities to facilitate foreign economic relations and complete the market economy institution. It also reflects Vietnam’s proactive involvement and contributions to promoting the multilateral, open and law-based international trading system.

However, according to Deputy Foreign Minister Bui Thanh Son, the world and regional situations are taking place in a complicated and unpredictable manner, the global economy is showing signs of slowing down, and trade-related tensions are increasing strongly. The current context requires determination and concurrent efforts of all levels, branches and the society as a whole in continuing to work together and comprehensively improve policies and legal frameworks with long-term visions, aiming to effectively implement Vietnam’s international commitments and enhance the country’s integration capabilities and economic connectivity.

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