Bright prospects for Vietnam-EU cooperation

Wednesday, 2020-12-30 10:24:05
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Ambassador Pier Giorgio Aliberti, Head of the EU Delegation to Vietnam.
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NDO – 2020 marks the 30th anniversary of Vietnam-European Union (EU) diplomatic ties. Over the course of the three decades, despite fluctuations in the global situation, as well as in Asia and Europe, the relationship between Vietnam and the EU has been constantly growing with significant progress made, contributing to creating a new milestone in Vietnam’s international integration process.

The bilateral cooperation achievements have formed the basis for opening a new promising chapter in relations between the two sides.

Head of the EU Delegation to Vietnam Ambassador Pier Giorgio Aliberti:

Vietnam is an important partner of the EU in Asia

In a recent interview granted to Nhan Dan Newspaper, Ambassador Pier Giorgio Aliberti, Head of the EU Delegation to Vietnam, highlighted that after 30 years Vietnam has become a very important partner of the EU in Asia, with two-way trade increasing from around US$200 million to more than US$40 billion at present.

As a country with a large number of trade agreements with partners, Vietnam is a partner with whom the EU can cooperate to promote a multilateral trading system and rules-based international order, he said, affirming his wish to further accelerate relations between the two sides.

According to the diplomat, Vietnam-EU ties have stretched across diverse range of areas, from trade-business, politics, and security and defence to science-technology, people-to-people exchange, and culture.

Touching upon the plans to further enhance bilateral relations, he expressed his belief that in the next 10 years, Vietnam and the EU will achieve important coopration contents, concerning the European Green Deal, digital transformation, and the EU-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA).

Specifically, the European Green Deal will enable the two sides to strengthen sustainable development cooperation in the fields of economy, environment, and society. Vietnam and the EU can share common directions and identify key priorities to better protect the environment and make water sources and air cleaner.

Meanwhile, digital transformation is a key priority in the development policies of both the EU and the Vietnamese Government. The EU ambassador said the digital transformation process will take place rapidly and plays an important role in Vietnam, stating that the EU is willing to share its experience in data management issues, especially in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic with many activities being carried out online.

Regarding the EVFTA, the deal has opened great opportunities for bilateral cooperation, but also poses challenges as the two sides must materialise the included contents. It brings benefits not only in terms of tariff reduction but regarding the process of reforming the economy as well. This will help Vietnam to attract more foreign investors and integrate better in the global value chain, according to Aliberti. He suggested the Vietnamese Government further improve the business climate to drive potential investors make investment decisions in Vietnam, affirming that the EU always stands by Vietnam in promoting these efforts.

Evaluating Vietnam’s contributions in its role as a connecting bridge for ASEAN-EU relations, the diplomat congratulated the country on successfully assuming the ASEAN Chairmanship in 2020, especially in the current difficult period caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, hailing the signing of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) as an encouraging result. He revealed that the EU is working towards elevating its relations with ASEAN to a strategic partnership, hoping to soon sign an ASEAN-EU Comprehensive Air Transport Agreement.

The two sides are expecting the adoption of a customs transit cooperation mechanism next year, he said, noting that Vietnam is showing an active role in promoting this cooperation content between the EU and ASEAN.

French Ambassador to Vietnam Nicolas Warnery:

Vietnam-EU relations will continue to thrive in the future

French Ambassador to Vietnam Nicolas Warnery highlighted the strong developments in Vietnam-France economic and trade relations in recent years, voicing his belief that the EVFTA will further facilitate the growth of bilateral trade revenue with the removal of most tariff barriers and the reform of administrative procedures. He stressed the need to update the two sides’ businesses on EVFTA-related information such that they may take good advantage of the opportunities brought about by the deal.

Relations between Vietnam and the EU has developed far beyond the pillar of trade and expanded to many other fields such as politics, security, and efforts to cope with global challenges, the French diplomat said, stating that with mutual trust, bilateral cooperation will continue to thrive in the near future.

Chairman of the European Chamber of Commerce (EuroCham) in Vietnam Nicolas Audier:

EVFTA – A new chapter in Vietnam-EU relations

According to Nicolas Audier, Chairman at EuroCham Vietnam, the effectiveness of the EVFTA has marked a new chapter in Vietnam-EU ties, enabling the two sides to develop bilateral cooperation in a far more extensive manner across the spheres of trade and investment.

The EVFTA will remove tariff barriers and trade barriers while opening markets for both sides, thus boosting the flow of goods and services. Through increased trade activities, Vietnam will be able to integrate more deeply into the global economy, while Vietnamese businesses will be enabled to participate more deeply in the global supply chain and enhance cooperation with European companies, he said.

Audier noted that, thanks to the EVFTA, some Vietnamese industries, such as garment & textile, leather & footwear and fisheries, are expected to register strong growth in terms of exports to the European market. In addition to trade and investment, the deal will also further Vietnam-EU relations in the areas of government procurement, sustainable development, and environmental protection.

EuroCham and the Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry recently established the EU-Vietnam Business Council (EVBC) in order to foster connections and help the business community of both sides effectively tap into the potentials brought by the EVFTA. In the context of global trade being negatively affected by COVID-19, the EVFTA should be seen as a roadmap for economic recovery in Vietnam and the EU, according to the EuroCham official.