Europe, Vietnam look to improve bilateral ties

HANOI – The European Commission (EC) and Vietnam are looking forward to a new phase in bilateral relations, in particular politics and economics, the two sides announced at the 7th Joint Commission meeting in Hanoi on Thursday.

The meeting was co-chaired by Nguyen The Phuong, Vietnam’s vice minister of planning and investment, and Stefano Sannino, deputy director general for Asia and Latin America of the EC.

The EC said in a statement the Joint Commission meetings were held bi-annually to facilitate high-level discussions in the framework of the 1995 EC-Vietnam Co-operation Agreement.

The Thursday’s meeting reviewed developments in Vietnam-EC relations since the last Joint Commission meeting in Brussels in November, 2007.

The two sides discussed the continuing progress of Vietnam’s economic, administrative, legal and judicial reforms and its efforts to promote greater global integration, as a member of the World Trade Organization (WTO), as a non-permanent member of the United Nations Security Council, and as incoming Chair of ASEAN.

The EC presented the new EU Lisbon Treaty, which takes effect on December 1, and explained its significance for EU external policies and its relevance for Vietnam-EU relations.

It also gave an overview of recent policy developments in the EU, highlighting the views of the EU on climate change in the run up to the Copenhagen Summit and other issues of global concern.

Both parties confirmed their commitment to a new Partnership and Co-operation Agreement (PCA).

The PCA envisages a progressive agenda that reflects the needs and interests of both Vietnam and the EU and acts as a catalyst for partnership.

(Source: The Saigon Times)

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