|Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Bui Thanh Son (right) meets with President of the European Parliament David Sassoli (Photo: VNA)
During a meeting with the EP President on February 11 as part of his working visit to Belgium and France in his capacity as the Prime Minister’s special envoy, Son highly evaluated the fruitful development of the Vietnam – EU relations in different fields in the recent past, especially after the Partnership and Cooperation Agreement (PCA) between the two sides took effect.
He expressed his hope that the EP’s leaders and parliamentarians will continue to support and further promote the comprehensive cooperation between Vietnam and the EU in the time to come.
Son also appreciated Sassoli’s support as well as close cooperation of the EP’s agencies in the process of approving the EU-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA) and the EU-Vietnam Investment Protection Agreement (EVIPA).
The Vietnamese National Assembly will soon ratify the two agreements, Son said, affirming that Vietnam’s relevant agencies have been stepping up the preparations for the effective implementation of commitments, especially those on sustainable development, labour, and environment.
He proposed the EP and the EU’s agencies to continue working closely with Vietnam in implementing the agreements in the coming time.
For his part, Sassoli expressed his impression for Vietnam’s socio-economic development and international integration achievements, and congratulated Vietnam
on undertaking its roles as the ASEAN Chair 2020 and a non-permanent member of the UN Security Council (UNSC) for the 2020-2021 tenure.
He promised to support the enhancement of the EU-Vietnam comprehensive cooperation, stressing that the EU considers Vietnam as an important partner in Asia Pacific and wants Vietnam to continue its active contributions to strengthening cooperative ties between the EU and other ASEAN member nations.
The EP President spoke highly of the close and effective coordination between the Vietnamese National Assembly, Government and agencies, and the EP and the EU’s agencies in preparing for the approval of the EVFTA and EVIPA.
He urged the two sides to continue their close coordination to ensure the effective implementation of the agreements, thus bringing practical benefits to enterprises and people of both sides.
During his visit from February 4-12, Son also had important working sessions with EP Vice President Pedro Silva Pereira, President of the EP’s Committee on International Trade (INTA) Bernd Lange, EU Trade Commissioner Phil Hogan; leaders of key parties in the EU; and heads of the parliamentarian delegations of the EU member nations, to discuss issues of common concerns in preparation for the approval of the two agreements.
Leaders of the EP and INTA, and key parliamentarians from the parties in the EP said they support the approval of the two pacts, and promised to lobby EP parliamentarians to vote for them.
The EP is scheduled to vote for the approval of the EVFTA and EVIPA on February 12. The two agreements were signed in Hanoi on June 30, 2019.
According to the Vietnamese Ministry of Planning and Investment, the pacts are expected to help Vietnam's gross domestic product (GDP) increase 4.6 percent and its exports to the EU rise 42.7 percent in 2025. The European Commission estimated that the EU's GDP will increase by 29.5 billion USD, while its exports to Vietnam will grow 29 percent by 2035.