EU – leading strategic partner of Vietnam: PM

Saturday, 2018-04-14 17:35:56
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Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc chairs a meeting to evaluate cooperation with the EU in Hanoi on April 14. (Photo: VNA)
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NDO/VNA – Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc stressed the significance of bolstering cooperation with the European Union (EU), a leading strategic partner of Vietnam in economy, trade, and investment, while chairing a meeting to evaluate bilateral collaboration in recent times in Hanoi on April 14.

Two-way trade has yielded fruitful results, with the EU being the second largest importer of Vietnam’s products and the destination for 18 percent of Vietnamese exports, he said, noting that the union was the third biggest trade partner of Vietnam with two-way trade reaching US$50 billion in 2017.

Vietnam enjoyed a trade surplus of US$31.8 billion with the EU, he added.

He also pointed out some factors that hinder two-way trade such as the “yellow card” issued by the European Commission on imports of Vietnamese seafood. The local business climate should be improved while administrative procedures need to be streamlined to facilitate trade and investment between Vietnam and the EU, he added.

At the meeting, the Government leader ordered relevant ministries to work closely with the relevant EU bodies to complete the signing and ratification of the Vietnam-EU free trade agreement (EVFTA) at the end of 2018, which will create a breakthrough for economic and trade cooperation between the two sides.

The EVFTA, a new-generation free trade agreement between Vietnam and the EU’s 28 member states, is a comprehensive and high-quality trade pact that balances benefits for both Vietnam and the EU, while remaining in line with regulations of the World Trade Organisation.

Leaders of Vietnam and the EU finished negotiations for the deal in 2015.