Vietnamese Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs To Anh Dung and Director for Asia and Pacific in the European External Action Service (EEAS) Gunnar Wiegand co-chaired the event.
Close to 80 delegates from Vietnam’s ministries and sectors as well as 40 representatives from the EEAS, the European Trade Commission, the EU delegation, and embassies of EU member countries in Vietnam participated in the meeting.
The launch of the Joint Committee aims to speed up the implementation of the PCA, which took effect from October 1, 2016. Vietnam and the EU pledged to strengthen the overall cooperation through the bilateral comprehensive partnership and cooperation.
At the meeting, the two sides highly evaluated the development of Vietnam-EU relations over the past three decades, emphasising their wishes to further deepen the bilateral cooperative ties in the fields of delegation exchanges, security-defence, trade-investment, law, justice, science-technology, clean energy, and agro-forestry-fishery.
The EU extolled Vietnam’s socio-economic development achievements and position in the region and hoped to enhance coordination with the Southeast Asian country to promote ASEAN-EU ties.
The EU also voiced its support for the maintenance of security and safety of navigation and aviation and law respecting in the East Sea.
Enhancing the bilateral cooperation in global issues will contribute to peace and development in the region and the world, according to the EU side.
The two sides affirmed to promote the signing of the EU-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA) and the Investment Protection Agreement (IPA) in the coming weeks.
The early implementation of the deals will help create a strong boost for business and investment ties as well as a strong wave of high-quality investment from both sides.
Vietnam and the EU also discussed necessary procedures towards the ratification and effective implementation of basic conventions of the International Labour Organsiation (ILO).
The two sides exchanged views on the bilateral development cooperation programme for the 2014-2020 period, and agreed to focus on the fields of rural electrification, effective use of energy, renewable energy development, climate change adaptation and sustainable development, judicial cooperation, public financial management and economic matters, human resources training, culture, education, tourism and people-to-people exchanges.
They applauded the enforcement of the Voluntary Partnership Agreement (VPA) on Forest Law Enforcement, Governance, and Trade (FLEGT) between Vietnam and the EU from June 1, 2019.
The EU recognised Vietnam’s efforts in reforming the legal framework to address issues related to illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing.
The two sides also agreed to implement a mid-term review mechanism to ensure the effective implementation of the achieved results, actively contributing to the reinforcement of the bilateral comprehensive partnership and cooperation.
They consented to hold the second meeting of the Joint Committee in Brussels, Belgium, in 2020.