Promoting the signing and approval of the EU-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA) and the EU-Vietnam Investment Protection Agreement (EVIPA) was a highlight of Vietnamese high-ranking officials’ agenda during their visits to Europe last month.
Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc made official visits to Romania and the Czech Republic from April 14 to 17 after Chairwoman of the National Assembly Nguyen Thi Kim Ngan toured France and the European Parliament (EP).
During talks with Vietnam’s high-ranking leaders, EU, and EP peers reiterated the importance of the agreements.
Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc meets with Romanian counterpart Vioruca Dancila in Romania on April 15. Photo: VGP.
After three years of negotiations from June 26, 2012, with 14 official and intermittent sessions at the ministerial and expert levels, Vietnam and the European Union (EU) officially concluded the negotiation process for the EVFTA in Brussels on December 2, 2015.
Romanian Prime Minister Viorica Dancila asserted that during its EU presidency in the first half this year, Romania would take necessary actions to accelerate the official signing and approval of the two aforementioned agreements.
Czech leaders also confirmed their support for the early signing of the two agreements during talks with PM Nguyen Xuan Phuc.
President of the French National Assembly Richard Farrand assured Chairwoman Nguyen Thi Kim Ngan that both the French government and the EP support the early signing and ratification of the two pacts, noting that both sides should work more to accelerate the official signing.
At the meeting with Chairwoman Nguyen Thi Kim Ngan, head of Belgium’s Chamber of Representatives Siegfried Bracke said that all relevant sides would consider completing the procedures for ratification of the agreements at the beginning the EP’s upcoming term and confirmed that Belgium would do its best to promote the progress.
Chairwoman of National Assembly Nguyen Thi Kim Ngan and President of the European Parliament Antonio Tajani in Brussels on April 4. Photo: Quochoi.vn
Meanwhile, French PM Edouard Philippe affirmed that he looked forward to the early signing and approval of the deals.
EP President Antonio Tajani emphasized that in his position, he would do his best for EVFTA and IPA's records to be given the highest priority.
In addition, Chairman of the EP Committee on International Trade (INTA) Bernd Lange stressed that the signing and approval of EVFTA could take place in June and July after the European Parliament ends the elections and starts a new term.
Also related to these two agreements, the Netherlands’ Prime Minister Mark Rutte in his official visit to Vietnam on April 9 shared a common view with the Vietnamese leaders that the EVFTA and EVIPA are important frameworks to further boost the relations between Vietnam and the EU as well as between Vietnam and the Netherlands in terms of economy, trade, and investment.
The two sides emphasized the paramount importance of ratifying the deals in the upcoming time as well as implementing the deals soon in accordance with the required procedures to realize the benefits of these agreements.
Fundamentals for sustainable growth and connectivity
PM Nguyen Xuan Phuc led Vietnam’s high-ranking delegation to attend the second “Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation” (BRF) in Beijing, China on April 25-27 at the invitation of Chinese President Xi Jinping.
Phuc considered that connectivity should be promoted comprehensively in hard and soft infrastructure including digital connection from transportation, energy, telecommunication, among others.
Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc and China's General Secretary and President Xi Jinping in Beijing on April 25. Photo:VGP.
Speaking at the roundtable meeting, PM Phuc highly appreciated the efforts to promote connectivity and international economic ties including the Belt and Road Forum, expressing that Vietnam would continue to cooperate with China and other countries to develop effective and beneficial cooperation.
The PM also stated the viewpoint that the cooperation could be real and long-lasting when countries’, big or small, opinions are respected and listened and the differences should be solved by dialogues and consultations.
He stressed that the cooperation should be transparent, open, sincere, mutually beneficial, and respect for sovereignty and territorial integrity, international law, noting that these are the foundation for successful connective and development.
During the visit to Europe, PM Nguyen Xuan Phuc also met with China’s Party chief and President Xi Jinping and held talks with Chinese Premier Li Keqiang.
At talks with the Chinese leaders, the Vietnamese head of government stressed that the country always appreciates promoting the stable, healthy and sustainable development of comprehensive strategic cooperative partnership between Vietnam and China.
Vietnam also welcomed and supported the Belt and Road Initiative that ensures the principles of peaceful and equal cooperation, mutual respect and attaching to international law, towards the goal of contributing to common development and prosperity of all countries.