Addressing a reception for
Vice-President of the EP Heidi Hautala in Ha Noi on January 7, the Government
leader hailed the EU as one of Viet Nam’s leading partners, while highlighting
the finely growing ties between the two sides.
Bilateral economic cooperation
has recorded positive results, with the EU being Viet Nam’s fourth largest
trading partner and second largest export market, and also a big investor in
the Southeast Asian country, he said.
PM Phuc proposed some ideas
concerning the free trade agreement (FTA) and the agreement on timber trade
between Viet Nam and the EU, as well as touching on the issue of combating
Heidi Hautala said during her
visit, she would meet with the Vietnamese agencies concerned and conduct a
field survey on the Voluntary Partnership Agreement on Forest Law Enforcement,
Governance and Trade (VPA/FLEGT), of which she is a rapporteur. The agreement
was signed in October 2018 on the occasion of PM Phuc’s visit to the EU and
participation in the 12th Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM) Summit.
The EP will consider the approval
of the VPA, Hautalasaid, sharing the Vietnamese side’s huge interest in the
EU-Viet Nam FTA (EVFTA) which is a new-generation deal.
PM Phuc called for the support
from the EP and Hautala in promoting the official signing of the EVFTA,
affirming that the implementation of the agreement would create a new
motivation facilitating cooperation between the EU and Viet Nam, particularly
in terms of economic aspects.
According to the EP
Vice-President, the enforcement of the VPA/FLEGT will create a spillover effect
in the region, as Viet Nam’s neighboring nations and the countries from which
Viet Nam imports timber products will definitely look at the legal perspective
of the timber trade issue.
With regards to the EVFTA,
Hautala stated that the two sides will take necessary steps to ensure the
ratificatioin of the deal.