Vietnam, EU look to augment strategic cooperation
The Joint Committee under the Vietnam-EU Comprehensive Partnership and Cooperation Framework Agreement (PCA) held the second meeting in both virtual and face-to-face forms on December 15.
Vietnamese Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs To Anh Dung
The event, co-chaired by Vietnamese Deputy Foreign Minister To Anh Dung and Managing Director for Asia and the Pacific at the European External Action Service (EEAS) Gunnar Wiegand, took place as the two sides mark the 30th founding anniversary of their diplomatic ties (November 28) and four months after the EU-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA) came into force.
It also saw the presence of 40 Vietnamese officials and over 50 representatives from the EEAS, the European Commission, the EU Delegation to Vietnam, and embassies of EU nations in the country.
The two sides reviewed bilateral cooperation since the joint committee’s first meeting in May 2019, highlighting cooperation outcomes of the four sub-committees. They also set up orientations for their ties for the time ahead.
Voicing their delight at the intensive and extensive development of Vietnam-EU relations over the past 30 years, Dung and Wiegand emphasised the wish to continue strengthening the strategic cooperation through increasing all-level mutual visits, maintaining existing cooperation and dialogue mechanisms, working together to effectively implement the EVFTA, and push for EU member parliaments’ ratification of the EU-Vietnam Investment Protection Agreement (EVIPA) so as to help with both sides’ economic recovery.
Vietnam and the EU agreed to enhance coordination in addressing consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic, peacekeeping, as well as dealing with traditional security and maritime security issues and climate change.
They also appreciated cooperation efforts and expressed their willingness to keep working together fruitfully in such domains as clean energy, sustainable fisheries development, and responsible timber trade.
Deputy Minister Dung applauded the EU’s role in efforts to improve global governance, carry out the Asia-Europe connectivity plan, and promote the role of the Asia-Pacific region, including providing practical and effective support for Vietnam in natural disaster prevention and control, early flood warning, and climate change response.
For his part, Wiegand spoke of the EU’s cooperation priorities in such areas as climate action and digital transformation while highly valuing Vietnam’s performance as a non-permanent member of the UN Security Council for 2020-2021 and Chair of ASEAN this year.
He thanked the country for its significant contributions to the reinforcement of ASEAN-EU relations, along with its support for the elevation of the ASEAN-EU ties to a strategic partnership. The official also lauded Vietnam’s achievements in socio-economic development and COVID-19 combat.
At the meeting, the EU affirmed its support for maintaining security and safety of navigation and overflight as well as upholding law in the East Sea.
Holding Vietnam’s stature in the region in high regard, it stressed the increasingly important role of ASEAN in keeping regional peace, stability, security, and defence.
Meanwhile, Vietnam thanked the EU and its member states for demonstrating clearer and stronger viewpoints on many regional and international issues, including the East Sea one.
The two sides agreed to foster cooperation in global issues, actively support multilateralism, and help consolidate peace and development in the region and the world at large.
The third Joint Committee meeting is scheduled to take place in Hanoi in 2021./.VNA