National Assembly (NA) Chairwoman
Nguyen Thi Kim Ngan hosted a reception in Hanoi on January 7 for Vice President
of the European Parliament (EP) Heidi Hautala.
The Vietnamese top legislator
thanked Hautala for her positive contributions to promoting the
Vietnam-European Union (EU) relationship, as well as the partnership between
the Vietnamese NA and the EP.
She noted that the relationship
between Vietnam and the EU has been growing in all fields, especially trade and
The EU is now the fourth largest
trade partner and the second biggest export market of Vietnam, as well as the
fifth largest investor in the Southeast Asian country, Ngan said.
The NA leader briefed her guest
on Vietnam’s socio-economic performances in 2018, including GDP growth of 7.08
percent. The Vietnamese NA ratified the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement
for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) last year, creating an important
foundation for Vietnam to continue its intensive international integration and
a new momentum for national development, she stressed.
For her part, Hautala said that
during her visit, she had worked with leaders of the Ministry of Agriculture
and Rural Development and other relevant agencies on the implementation of the
Voluntary Partnership Agreement on Forest Law Enforcement, Governance, and
Trade (VPA/FLEGT) between the EU and Vietnam.
The two sides agreed on specific
contents to be conducted in the coming time, she said, adding that the EP is
working to ensure the prompt realisation of the deal.
Stressing that Vietnam is an
important import-export partner of the EU, Hautala said that the EU has paid
great attention to sustainability and product origin, which is included in the
The EP Vice President noted that
in 2018, the NA of Vietnam actively coordinated with the Inter-Parliamentary
Union (IPU) to hold activities related to the UN sustainable development goals
and the role of the parliament in reaching the goals through the application of
a self-evaluation tool.
Together with bilateral
cooperation mechanisms, the EP wants to set up collaboration mechanisms with
other ASEAN countries’ parliaments, said Hautala.
Ngan showed her support for the
idea, pledging that Vietnam is willing to assist in the formation of such
The Vietnamese NA leader
expressed her hope that the EP will soon ratify the EU-Vietnam Free Trade
Agreement (EVFTA), vowing that Vietnam is willing to listen to the opinions of
European economic policymakers and enterprises for the effective implementation
of the deal, which, she said will create close connections between the EU and
the regions of Southeast Asia and the Asia-Pacific.
The Vietnamese NA is working to
complete the legal corridor to improve the investment and business environment,
thus ensuring the stable, long-term, and effective operation of foreign
investors, including those from Europe, she said.
The NA will work with the
Government to institutionalise the regulations of the EVFTA, asking the latter
to submit its final report for the consideration of the agreement’s approval,
The top legislator affirmed that
as a responsible and active member of many multilateral cooperation forums and
many new generation free trade agreements, Vietnam will strictly implement its
commitments in line with regulations stipulated in these mechanisms.
In order to institutionalize and
effectively carry out the VPA/FLEGT, which Vietnam signed in October 2018,
Vietnam will soon build a decree to control the import of wood, as well as
regulations related to Vietnam's timber legality assurance system (VNTLAS) she
The Vietnamese NA leader
expressed her hope that Vietnam and the EU will soon approve the VPA/FLEGT to
facilitate wood and wooden furniture trading between the two sides and
contribute to hastening the approval of the EVFTA.