Vietnam promotes cooperation with EU, Switzerland

National Assembly (NA) Chairman Vuong Dinh Hue hosted separate receptions in Hanoi on June 16 for Ambassador Giorgio Aliberti, Head of the European Union (EU) Delegation to Vietnam, and Ambassador of Switzerland to Vietnam Thomas Gass, Vietnam News Agency reports.

Chairman Vuong Dinh Hue (R) and Ambassador of Switzerland to Vietnam Thomas Gass. Photo: VNA

Hanoi (VNA) – At the meeting with Aliberti, Hue spoke highly of the ambassador’s efforts in enhancing the relations between the EU and Vietnam in general and the Vietnamese legislature and the European Parliament (EP) in particular.

Vietnam attaches great importance to and wants to strengthen its relations with the EU, a leading important partner in the Southeast Asian nation’s foreign policy, the top legislator stressed.

For his part, Aliberti pledged that he, in any position, will work harder to further consolidate and foster the EU-Vietnam relationship.

The ambassador also lauded Hue’s role in promoting the EU-Vietnam relations, especially the relationship between the EP and the Vietnamese NA, which has been enhanced significantly over the past time.

Regarding the EU-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA) and the Just Energy Transition Partnership (JETP), he said the EVFTA is an important channel and the two sides should fully tap its benefits to boost the bilateral cooperation.

Sharing Aliberti’s view, Hue said the EVFTA has proven effective, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic and post pandemic periods, and amid global supply chain disruptions.

According to the NA leader, Vietnam is working to soon ratify the Convention on Freedom of Association and Protection of the Right to Organise Convention of the International Labour Organisation (ILO Convention 87).

The EU will also urge its remaining members to soon ratify the EU-Vietnam Investment Protection Agreement (EVIPA).

Vietnam will seriously fulfill commitments in the EVFTA for the country’s rapid, sustainable development, the NA leader affirmed.

Hue also shared Aliberti’s view that parliamentary cooperation is an important channel which should be promoted to contribute to the EU-Vietnam cooperation, and suggested the two sides increase all-level delegation and people-to-people exchanges to enhance their mutual understanding.

Highlighting the significance of the JETP to the EU-Vietnam relations, Aliberti noted that Vietnam is the third nation, after South Africa and Indonesia, to have signed the agreement with international partners, saying this reflected the EU’s confidence in Vietnam and its wish to make long-term, sustainable presence in the country.

Hue used this occasion to thank the EU and its member countries, particularly Aliberti, for their support during the COVID-19 pandemic combat, and hailed the EU for its strategies and initiatives to enhance cooperation with Asia-Pacific.

The EU’s cooperation priorities match Vietnam’s sustainable development orientations, the leader said, emphasising that Vietnam stands ready to help the EU promote its presence in the region, connect with the ASEAN market, and accelerate negotiations on a free trade agreement with the ten-member group, and to coordinate in materialising the ASEAN-EU Plan of Action for 2023-2027.

Hue suggested the European Commission (EC) soon remove its “yellow card” warning on Vietnamese seafood basing on positive assessments of the country’s practical efforts in the fight against illegal, unreported, and unregulated (IUU) fishing.

On this occasion, the top legislator asked the ambassador to convey his invitations to EU and EP leaders to pay official visits to Vietnam.

Receiving the Swiss Ambassador, Hue highly valued the upcoming visit to Vietnam by the President of the Swiss National Council to mark the 52nd founding anniversary of the bilateral diplomatic ties.

“Switzerland is always an important, reliable partner of Vietnam,” he said, informing the ambassador that the two countries’ legislative leaders are scheduled to hold talks, during which they will exchange views on speeding up negotiations on a free trade agreement between Vietnam and the European Free Trade Association (EFTA), comprising Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland.

Hue expressed his hope that the two sides will seek solutions to raise their bilateral trade and investment in the context that the two economies are reciprocal and investments by Swiss enterprises in Vietnam remain modest.

For his part, Gass noted his belief that the visit by the President of the Swiss National Council will be a success, helping push ahead with the FTA between Vietnam and the EFTA.

Recalling his working trips to Vietnamese localities, the ambassador said Swiss firms have consolidated their presence there, demonstrating the close economic ties between the two countries. VNA