At the meeting in Hanoi, Hien said that relations between Vietnam and the European Union (EU) are developing fruitfully through the regular exchange of high-ranking delegations and meetings.
The EU is currently the biggest provider of non-refundable aid, the third biggest trade partner and the second largest export market of Vietnam, he said.
Hien voiced his belief that Mato’s ongoing visit would strengthen bilateral ties between Vietnam and the EU in general and between the Vietnamese NA and the EP in particular.
He spoke highly of the European Commission (EC)’s move to submit the EU-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA) to the European Council for its approval of the official signing of the deal, stressing that the EP plays an important role in the EU’s decision-making process.
The vice chairman expressed his hope that the EP would back the official signing and ratification of the EVFTA as soon as possible.
Regarding the illegal, unreported, and unregulated (IUU) fishing, Hien affirmed that Vietnam considers the EC’s “yellow card” warning on Vietnamese seafood an opportunity to boost the fishery sector’s sustainable and responsible development. The country is implementing many synchronous measures to have the warning lifted, he said.
Vietnam has to date obtained a number of positive results in adjusting the legal framework, tightening supervision over fishing boats and verifying origin of caught seafood, he said.
Hien asked Mato, together with other MEPs, to prompt the EC to consider Vietnam’s efforts for the early removal of the “yellow card” warning for Vietnamese seafood exports to the EU.
For his part, Mato said members of the EP’s Committee on Fisheries are sharing experiences with Vietnam in the control of illegal fishing during the visit.
The official also lauded Vietnam’s recent achievements in the fight against IUU fishing, such as the issuance of legal regulations. The EP will continue cooperating with, assisting and accompanying Vietnam in this field, he promised.