Potential for Vietnam-EU cooperation highlighted

(VOV) - European Council (EC) President Herman Van Rompuy has emphasized the great potential for Vietnam-EU cooperation while speaking at a meeting with more than 100 European and Vietnamese entrepreneurs in HCM City on October 2.

Rompuy said his visit to Vietnam marks a novel step in the development of bilateral ties and opens up new prospects for further advancing the friendship between Vietnam and the EU.

Vietnam-EU relations continue to thrive and grow courtesy of bilateral cooperation agreements and mutual interest in negotiating an early signing of a Free Trade Agreement (FTA).

Two-way trade grew by 20 percent this year and both sides are stepping up cooperation in politics and security.

The EU is interested in assisting Vietnam’s efforts on its path towards modernisation and its eventual goal of joining the world’s industrialised nations by 2020. Rompuy said, however, that Vietnam needs to reform its institutions, create a clear-cut legal framework, and control corruption in order to ensure sustainable economic development and attract more foreign investment, especially from the EU

The EC President said the FTA is the best tool for leveraging the institutional changes. Vietnam needs to build a market economy and equitable competitive environment. It would help Vietnamese goods enter the European market easily and reach its 500 million consumers.

The agreement will serve as a legal foundation for the EU to commit to long-term investment in ASEAN member countries. Rompuy added it could also broaden Vietnam’s access to the EU’s financial resources and leading technology, raising Vietnam’s regional status to a higher level.

The same day, the EC President left HCM City, concluding his visit to Vietnam.