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Vietnamese premier urges stronger Asia-Europe connectivity

Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc speaks at the 16th Asia-Europe Business Forum in Brussels, Belgium, on October 18, 2018.
Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc speaks at the 16th Asia-Europe Business Forum in Brussels, Belgium, on October 18, 2018.

Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc has called for stronger connectivity and cooperation between Asia and Europe for sustainable development and prosperity during his speech at the 16th Asia- Europe Business Forum.

PM Phuc and Norwegian Premier Erna Solberg were the two main speakers at the gathering in Brussels, Belgium, on Wednesday, the Vietnam News Agency reported.

Themed “Connectivity-Building Bridges between Europe and Asia,” the event attracted over 400 corporate executives and business representatives from the two continents.

During the event, the Vietnamese head of government suggested strengthening connectivity between the governments and business, as well as boosting public-private partnerships in such fields as infrastructure, education, healthcare, energy, agriculture, manufacturing, and processing.

Cooperation between businesses should be fostered, he stated, adding that free trade agreements between Asian and European economies should be effectively implemented.

He called on enterprises to enhance their social responsibility for job creation, environmental protection, and response to global challenges for sustainable development and prosperity.

Vietnam is striving to build a transparent, constructive, action-oriented government in service of the people and businesses, and create a favorable business and investment environment, Phuc briefed the participants about Vietnam’s situation.

Europe is a big foreign investor in Vietnam with a total investment of nearly US$25 billion and the largest supplier of non-refundable aid of the Southeast Asian country.

Two-way trade rose five-fold during 2006-2017 to more than $50 billion last year, the premier elaborated.

A survey conducted by the European Chamber of Commerce (EuroCham) in Vietnam in March showed that 90 percent of European firms want to increase investment in the nation.

Together with the implementation of the Framework Agreement on Comprehensive Partnership and Cooperation, the early signing and ratification of the EU-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA) will create a new driving force for trade and investment between both sides, he said.