EU always places importance on Vietnam's role and position
The comments were made as Ambassador and Head of the Vietnam Delegation to the European Union (EU) Nguyen Van Thao presented the Letter of Credence to President of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen at the headquarters of the European Commission (EC) on July 14.
During the ceremony, Ambassador Thao conveyed greetings, best wishes, and an invitation from Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh to the EC President in the hope that she will arrange an official visit to Vietnam at a convenient time in the near future.
The Ambassador also expressed his great honour at being appointed Ambassador and Head of the Vietnamese Delegation to the EU, affirming that the country attaches great importance and desires to further strengthen the comprehensive relationship with the bloc.
In his new position, the Ambassador has been tasked with continuing to develop mutual relations in a strong, substantive, and effective manner moving forward.
According to the diplomat, in the upcoming three-year term the Ambassador and his delegation will prioritise stepping up co-operation through four main pillars.
The first is to promote trade, investment and the overall effectiveness of the EU-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA), especially in the context of global and regional fluctuations that come amid the risk of supply chain disruption and food security issues.
The EU represents an important economic partner for the nation. Despite being impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, two-way trade turnover between both sides in 2021 and during the first five months of the year have still seen impressive growth.
The Vietnamese diplomat said he hoped that the EU would continue to encourage more diversified economic co-operation whilst simultaneously increasing investment in the Vietnamese market. This is especially in important fields such as sustainable development, green economy, circular economy, hi-tech agriculture, logistics, and modern infrastructure development.
The second pillar is to strengthen co-operation, exchanges, and share experience in responding to the threat posed by climate change.
Ambassador Thao affirmed that despite being a developing country, Vietnam places great importance on the issue and remains determined to successfully implement its commitments made at the 26th UN Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COP-26) of striving to achieve the goal of net zero emissions by 2050.
He suggested that both sides ramp up ties in this field, with it also being an area of the EU’s great concern and high priority.
The third pillar is to boost linkages in green energy transformation and sustainable energy. The Ambassador noted that Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh highly appreciated the G7’s move to consider establishing a Just Energy Transformation Partnership (JETP) with Vietnam, with the UK and the EU serving as co-ordinators.
The Vietnamese diplomat suggested that the two sides work together to continue accelerating negotiations and affirmed that energy transformation is important in the successful implementation of the Vietnamese socio-economic development strategy in the next period. Indeed, this will serve to will create a milestone in Vietnam-EU relations.
The final pillar is to beef up co-ordination as a way of further expanding relations in other important areas.
The Ambassador was appreciative of the EU’s recent issuance of many important strategies, including the strategy for co-operation with the Indo-Pacific region.
These efforts highlight that the EU places great importance on the role of the region. Due to this, Vietnam will continue to work closely with the EU side on the basis of mutual benefits, for the causes of peace, stability, co-operation, and development in the region and the world as a whole.
For her part, EC President Von der Leyen thanked and asked Ambassador Thao to convey her best wishes to PM Chinh and other senior Vietnamese leaders.
She said she would arrange her visit to the nation at a convenient time to further promote bilateral relations.
Von der Leyen went on to express how impressed she has been with Vietnamese achievements in socio-economic development, as well as foreign relations after more than 30 years of renovation, especially in maintaining the momentum of economic development amid global and regional uncertainties.
The EC President affirmed that the bloc will continue to work closely alongside and support Vietnamese comprehensive and sustainable development.
Both sides will also continue to co-ordinate and provide mutual support at regional and international forums in line with the EU's strategy on strengthening relations with the Indo-Pacific region.
The EC President agreed with co-operation priorities proposed by Ambassador Thao, saying that these are also areas the EU values and is seeking to promote in the coming time. This can be seen through trade and investment promotion, the establishment of the just energy transformation partnership (JETP), and climate change response.
She expressed her hope that during his tenure, Ambassador Thao would make positive contributions to maintaining, consolidating, and further developing the comprehensive Vietnam-EU partnership.
Diplomatic ties were first established in 1990 and the two sides have since maintained wide-ranging relations and signed many important agreements.
They have also established eight co-operation mechanisms and co-operation frameworks, thereby making the country one of the regional nations with the most comprehensive and extensive relationship with the EU.