A key goal of of diplomatic activities in April was to accelerate the official signing and ratification of the EU-Vietnam free trade agreement (EVFTA) and the EU-Viet Nam investment protection agreement (EVIPA).
Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc and Romanian counterpart Viorica Dancila in Bucharest, Romania on April 15, 2019. Photo: VGP
As reported earlier, Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc made official visits to Romania and the Czech Republic from April 14-17 and Chairwoman of the National Assembly Nguyen Thi Kim Ngan paid an official visit to France and a working tour to the European Parliament (EP).
Viet Nam and the EU started the trade deal negotiations on June 26, 2012 and completed the negotiation process after nearly three years.
During the talks and meetings with leaders of the aforesaid countries and the EP officials, the EU side underlined the importance of the trade and investment agreements with Viet Nam.
Specifically, Romanian Prime Minister Viorica Dancila affirmed that during its EU Presidency, Romania will take necessary actions to beef up official signing and ratification of the EVFTA and the EVIPA to create driving force for fostering and deepening the Viet Nam-EU relations in general and the Viet Nam-Romania relations in particular.
Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc and Czech counterpart Andrej Babis co-chair press conference in Prague capital, the Czech Republic on April 17, 2019. Photo: VGP
Czech leaders assured Prime Minister Phuc that the European country supports early signing and ratification of the two agreements.
Meanwhile, France’s President of the National Assembly Richard Ferrand Richard Farrand stressed both the French Government and the EP back early signing and ratification of the two pacts, noting that both sides should work more to accelerate the official signing.
At his meeting with top Vietnamese legislator Ngan, French Prime Minister Édouard Philippe affirmed that France will always support Viet Nam and hopes that the deal will be signed and ratified soon.
President of the Chamber of Representatives of Belgium Siegfried Bracke said that both sides realized the importance of the EVFTA in economic development of all parties.
He added that involved parties will consider the completion of all procedures to ratify the agreement at the beginning of the next tenure of the EP.
National Assembly Chairwoman Nguyen Thi Kim Ngan (L) and President of the European Parliament Antonio Tajani in Brussels on April 4, 2019.
At his talks with Ngan in Brussels on April 4, EP President Antonio Tajani emphasized that the EU attaches importance to the two agreements as they are significant to the relevant parties.
All issues related to the pacts will be considered after the EP completes its election procedures and begins a new term, he added.
And Chairman of the EP Committee on International Trade (INTA) Bernd Lange told Ngan that he had made every effort to accelerate the signing and ratification of the EVFTA, and explaining that the process had been delayed as the EU has to deal with some issues, including Brexit.
The agreement might be signed and approved in June or July, after the EP completes its elections and begins a new term, according to Bernd Lange.
Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc (R) and Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte sign a memorandum of understanding between the two Governments on agricultural transformation cooperation in the Mekong Delta in Ha Noi on April 9, 2019
Regarding the two agreements, Prime Minister Mark Rutte of the Netherlands shared the same view with the Vietnamese leaders that the deals are important frameworks for the relevant stakeholders to foster trade and investment ties in a sustainable and inclusive manner.
Both sides voiced strong support for the official signing and ratification of the two agreements in the coming months.
Foundation for successful connectivity and development
Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc addresses the roundtable meeting of the second Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation in Beijing, China on April 27, 2019. Photo: VGP
Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc led a high-ranking delegation to attend the second Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation (BRF) in Beijing, China from April 25-27 at the invitation of Chinese Party General Secretary and President Xi Jinping.
Speaking at the roundtable meeting of the forum, Prime Minister Phuc spoke highly of the efforts to promote connectivity and international economic links, including the Belt and Road initiative.
Phuc said Viet Nam will continue cooperation with China and other countries to build effective and win-win cooperation channels.
He suggested connectivity should be promoted comprehensively, including digital connection, and development of transport, energy, information and telecommunication, as well as coordination among countries to ensure favorable policies for successful connection.
It is necessary to expand cooperation among countries, international organizations, and involvement of enterprises and people in the process, he said.
The Vietnamese Government chief stressed that opinions of countries, whether small or big, should be respected and heard and that differences should be settled through consultations and dialogues, to make their cooperation effective.
He also said cooperation should be transparent, open, sincere, mutually beneficial, and respect for sovereignty and territorial integrity, international law, he said, noting that this is the foundation for successful connectivity and development.
Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc meets with Chinese Party General Secretary and President Xi Jinping in Beijing, China on April 25, 2019. Photo: VGP
During his trip, Prime Minister Phuc met with Chinese Party General Secretary and President Xi Jinping and held talks with Chinese Premier Li Keqiang.
Prime Minister Phuc appreciated the development of the ties between the two countries and parties in the recent time while affirming that Viet Nam consistently pursues the foreign policy of independence, peace, cooperation and development.
He reiterated that Viet Nam attaches importance to promoting the stable, healthy and sustainable development of the Viet Nam-China comprehensive strategic cooperative partnership.
Phuc stated Viet Nam welcomes and backs the Belt and Road initiative based on ensuring the principles of peaceful, equal and win-win cooperation, mutual respect and adherence to international law towards the goal of contributing to common development and prosperity of all countries.
On the sidelines of the forum, Prime Minister Phuc had bilateral meetings with the Presidents of Tajikistan, the Philippines, and Laos and the Prime Ministers of Cambodia and Singapore. VGP