Prime Minister hosts EC Executive Vice President

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Vietnamese Prime Minister Phạm Minh Chính (right) and Executive Vice President of the European Commission Frans Timmermans held talks on Friday in Hà Nội. — VNA/VNS Photo Dương Giang

HÀ NỘI — Prime Minister Phạm Minh Chính hosted a reception for visiting Executive Vice President of the European Commission (EC) Frans Timmermans in Hà Nội on Friday as the latter is on a three-day visit to Việt Nam.

The PM said that Việt Nam attached importance to the EU – one of the most important partners in Việt Nam’s external policy while expressing his pleasure with at sound development in the Việt Nam-EU comprehensive partnership and cooperation, with focus on collaboration in politics and diplomacy, trade and investment, development cooperation and security.

Despite COVID-19, two-way trade reached US$57 billion in 2021, a year-on-year increase of 14.5 per cent, contributing to maintaining the EU’s position as Việt Nam’s leading economic and development partner.

The PM suggested the two sides strengthen the exchange of delegations, especially high-level ones, and resume face-to-face meetings for cooperation mechanisms while proposing the EU facilitate the entry of Vietnamese goods to the European market, especially farm produce and seasonal fruits.

He also proposed the EU consider the removal of the EC’s yellow card warning imposed on Việt Nam’s fishing industry.

He asked for the acceleration of other EU member countries to complete the ratification of the EU-Việt Nam Investment Protection Agreement.

The PM thanked the EU and its member countries for their provision of vaccines, medical equipment and supplies to help Việt Nam control the COVID-19 pandemic.

He also suggested the EU and its member countries continue to help Việt Nam improve its healthcare capacity, develop the pharmaceutical industry, and provide medical equipment and necessary supplies, and COVID-19 treatment drugs.

Defining climate change adaptation as a key and urgent task, Việt Nam had been joining the international community in greenhouse gas emission reduction, Chinh said.

He said that the nation had seriously and quickly implemented its commitments made at the COP26 through the establishment of a national steering committee serving the work at the end of December last year.

He stated that with the principle of not trading the environment for economic growth, Việt Nam would soon complete its legal frameworks; develop specific plans, measures and roadmaps, and adjust related strategies and master plans; promote public-private cooperation and mobilise resources for climate change adaptation.

Commending the EU for considering climate change adaptation one of the three key matters in its cooperation programme with Việt Nam for 2021-27, the PM expressed his belief that the bloc’s climate strategies and policies would open up new cooperation opportunities for the two sides.

He suggested the EU and its member nations, as well as European firms and financial organisations, assist Việt Nam in terms of technology, human resources, finance and management capacity so that the nation can implement global commitments and initiatives on emission reduction and climate change adaptation.

They should also formulate and perfect laws on the environment; and improve capacity on natural disaster response in the context of climate change.

He also highlighted the necessity of establishing an equitable energy transition partnership with Việt Nam, similar to the model that the EU and European countries had signed with South Africa.

Timmermans said that the EU attached great importance to the comprehensive partnership with Việt Nam and hoped to further bolster the ties in prioritised areas such as trade, investment, sustainable development, environment and climate change response, science-technology and clean energy.

He lauded the strong commitments of Việt Nam that made important contributions to the success of the COP26, stating that the EU and its members hoped to accompany Việt Nam during the country’s sustainable development process and were willing to share experience, give technical support to and mobilise resources for Việt Nam to realise its commitments while supporting the country to become self-reliant in energy.

PM Chính and his guest also discussed international and regional issues, including the settlement of the South China Sea issue through peaceful measures concerning international law and the 1982 UN Convention on the Law of the Sea.

They agreed on more collaboration through such mechanisms as ASEM and the ASEAN-EU Strategic Partnership while working together to grasp cooperation opportunities and deal with common challenges, especially those regarding the environment, climate change, green and digital transformation, infrastructure connectivity, health care and gender equality.

PM Chính took the occasion to extend his invitation to EC President Ursula von der Leyen to visit Việt Nam. — VNS

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