Vietnam and the EU expect to fulfill a number of important tasks in 2015, including the signing of a free trade pact and the bloc’s recognition of the Southeast Asian country’s market economy status, Vietnamese Deputy Foreign Minister Bui Thanh Son has said.
Deputy FM Son make the statement at a New Year meeting held by the Vietnamese Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI) in Hanoi on Tuesday, with the attendance of EU Ambassador to Vietnam Franz Jessen as well as ambassadors and chargé d’affaires from EU member states, according to the Vietnam News Agency.
The European bloc and the Southeast Asian nation will work to finish signing the Vietnam-EU Free Trade Agreement and achieve EU recognition of the country’s market economy status this year, the Vietnamese diplomat said.
He added that Vietnam and the EU will also ratify a partnership and comprehensive cooperation framework agreement.
The meeting was the first in a series of activities to celebrate the 25th anniversary of diplomatic ties between Vietnam and the EU (1990-2015).
Deputy FM Son also briefed his guests on the outcomes of bilateral cooperation between Vietnam and the EU over the past 25 years, as well as the partnership between the country and each EU member state.
The diplomat highly valued the effective support the EU and its members have given to Vietnam during its development and international integration process.
He also thanked the ambassadors and chargé d’affaires from EU member states for their contributions to the development of Vietnam-EU ties.
Deputy FM Son also took the occasion to express sympathy to families of the victims of the Charlie Hebdo terror attack in Paris on January 7.
On that day, two masked gunmen stormed the offices of the French satirical weekly newspaper Charlie Hebdo with AK-47 assault rifles and killed 12 people, including the editor Stéphane “Charb” Charbonnier and two police officers.
The two main suspects were then gunned down by police on January 9 after a tense manhunt, with a third suspect having voluntarily turned himself in to police officers upon hearing he was wanted.
Hoang Van Dung, vice director of VCCI, stated that the chamber is ready to work with ministries and businesses of both sides on beefing up the trade and economic cooperation between Vietnam and the EU.
EU Ambassador Franz Jessen praised the socio-economic achievements that Vietnam has gained and the fruitful relations between the country and the bloc.
The EU always considers Vietnam one of its important partners in the Asia-Pacific region and is eager to foster their rapport.