EU accelerates FTA negotiations with Vietnam
VietNamNet Bridge – The European Union is speeding up negotiations of a free trade agreement (FTA) with Vietnam due to be signed in late 2014.
David O’Sullivan, Chief Operating Officer of the European External Action Service (EEAS), was speaking at a reception in Hanoi on March 26 given by Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Pham Binh Minh.
O’Sullivan said the EU will continue strengthening cooperation with Vietnam and considering the country an important partner in the Asia-Pacific region.
O’Sullivan briefed his host on the results of the March 24 political consultation, and stated the EU will further assist Vietnam in economic development and poverty reduction.
The EU prioritises implementing the Partnership and Cooperation Agreement (PCA) it has signed with Vietnam, and increasing its official development assistance for Vietnam in 2014-2020, he said.
In response, Minh appreciated the EU assistance for Vietnam and emphasised that Vietnam always attaches great importance to boosting cooperative ties with the EU.
He voiced Vietnam’s strong resolve to complete FTA negotiations this year.
The two sides asserted that despite the global economic slowdown, two-way trade turnover still grew by 16% to nearly US$34 billion in 2013.
The EU remains one of Vietnam’s largest trade partners and leading providers of non-refundable aid.