Making efforts to deal with climate change, promote Vietnam-EU co-operation

Sunday, 2015-11-29 15:40:30
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Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung (photo: VNA)
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NDO - Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung will attend the 21st Conference of the Parties (COP-21) to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change in Paris and visit Belgium and the European Union from November 30 at the invitation of French President Francois Hollande, Belgian Prime Minister Charles Michel and European Commission President Jean-Claude Junker. Such important political events demonstrate the determination of the Vietnamese government to fully participate in global joint efforts in response to climate change and further enhance the friendship and multifaceted co-operation between Vietnam and countries of the EU. 

COP-21 is one of the largest global conferences in 2015 receiving much attention from the international community. The main goal of the COP-21 is to adopt a global legal framework on climate change for the post 2020 period (2015 Paris Agreement), under which countries will pledge to cut emissions in order to keep global warming below 2°C by the end of the 21st century.

If the agreement is approved, this will be the first time in over 20 years negotiations on climate under the UN framework has reached a binding agreement with the participation of all countries in regards to the large volume of greenhouse gas emissions.

Aware of the fact that Vietnam is one of the countries most vulnerable to climate change and serious impacts of climate change to sustainable development, the Vietnamese government has always paid significant attention to building and implementing national programmes and policies on climate change adaptation, participating in important international treaties and contributing to international negotiations on the issue. Vietnam in co-ordination with its development partners have completed a report on the Intended Nationally Determined Contributions (INDC), under which Vietnam has pledged to cut 8% of its total greenhouse gas emissions using domestic resources by 2030 and 25% of total greenhouse gas emissions if receiving aid from the international community.

The participation of the Vietnamese PM at the COP-21 demonstrates Vietnam's strong commitment to take part in joint efforts of the international community in response to climate change while promoting co-operation opportunities between Vietnam and international partners in the field.

PM Nguyen Tan Dung is scheduled to deliver a speech at the COP-21 and co-chair a dialogue on climate change adaptation in the Mekong Delta region.

Vietnam and the EU are celebrating the 25th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations in 2015. Vietnam-EU relations are thriving positively and comprehensively in various fields particularly in economics, trade, investment and development co-operation. High-ranking visits and meetings between Vietnamese leaders and EU leaders including France and Belgium indicate the overall success of the relations and mutual co-operation.

The EU is currently the second largest trade partner and the second largest export market of Vietnam with two-way trade revenue increased by eight times between 2001 and 2014. The two sides also announced the conclusion of the negotiations on Vietnam-EU Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA). Many EU member states have pledged to promote the union to soon recognise the market economy status of Vietnam.

By the end of September 2015, 23 out of 28 EU member states have invested in Vietnam with 1,718 valid projects and a total registered capital of US$21.53 billion. France ranks second with 436 projects worth US$3.4 billion. Meanwhile, by mid-2015, Vietnam has invested in 57 projects in 13 EU countries with a total registered capital of US$151.9 million.

The EU is always one of the largest ODA providers for Vietnam with an ODA pledge of nearly US$14 billion in the 1993-2013 period including US$1.5 billion worth of non-refundable aid. In the 2014-2020 period, the EU has pledged to provide Vietnam with aid of EUR400 million to be focused on sustainable energy and institutions.

Vietnam and Belgium established diplomatic ties in March 1973. Belgium has provided loans and non-refundable aid of nearly US$300 million for Vietnam since 1977 including 60% of non-refundable aid. Vietnam is now the only country in Asia receiving development assistance from the Belgian government.

Although Belgium is a small market, trade relations between Vietnam and Belgium are more advanced than in many other EU countries as Belgium is a gateway for Vietnamese goods to be exported to Western European countries.

Belgium is currently Vietnam's sixth largest export market in the EU and Vietnam's largest steel importer among countries of the EU. By the end of October 2015, Belgium had 59 projects in Vietnam with a total capital of US$420 million.

The visit to Belgium and the EU by PM Nguyen Tan Dung demonstrates the comprehensive policy of the Vietnamese government towards the EU, aiming to create stronger changes in economic, trade and investment co-operation between Vietnam and the EU. The visit is also expected to make the co-operation relations deeper and more efficient in prioritised areas in accordance with Vietnam's development goals, which include energy, green growth, transport, aviation and space while promoting new co-operation frameworks to attract EU enterprises to invest in Vietnam.


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