Vietnam, EU seek to promote energy partnership

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Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh hosted a reception for visiting Executive Vice President of the European Commission (EC) Frans Timmermans in Hanoi on February 18.

Vietnam, EU seek to promote energy partnership
Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh (R) receives Executive Vice President of the European Commission (EC) Frans Timmermans (Photo: VNA)

The PM affirmed that Vietnam attaches importance to the role of the EU – one of the most important partners in Vietnam’s external policy, while expressing his pleasure with steps of sound development in the Vietnam-EU comprehensive partnership and cooperation in the past time, with focus on collaboration in the pillars of politics – diplomat, trade – investment, development cooperation and security – defence.

Despite COVID-19 impacts, two-way trade reached 57 billion USD in 2021, a year-on-year increase of 14.5 percent, contributing to maintain the EU’s position as Vietnam’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/dialogue mechanisms, while proposing the EU facilitate the entry of Vietnamese goods to the European market, especially farm produce and seasonal fruits.

Based on the country’s efforts and progress, he also proposed the EU consider the removal of the EC’s yellow card warning imposed on Vietnam’s seafood.

He asked for the EU’s support to the acceleration of other EU member countries to complete the ratification of the EU-Vietnam Investment Protection Agreement (EVIPA).

The PM thanked the EU and its member countries for their timely provision of vaccines, medical equipment and supplies to help Vietnam control the COVID-19 pandemic, thus boosting socio-economic recovery and development.

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

Defining climate change adaptation as one of the key and urgent tasks, Vietnam has been actively joining the international community in greenhouse gas emission reduction, Chinh said.

He informed that the nation has 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, Vietnam will soon complete its relevant 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, among others.

Commending the EU for considering climate change adaptation one of the three key matters in its cooperation programme with Vietnam for 2021-2027, the PM expressed his belief that the bloc’s climate strategies and policies will open up new cooperation opportunities for the two sides in line with Vietnam’s sustainable development orientations.

He suggested the EU and its member nations as well as European firms and financial organisations assist Vietnam 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; formulate and perfect its law on environment; and improve its capacity regarding natural disaster response in the context of climate change.

He also highlighted the necessity of establishing an equitable energy transition partnership with Vietnam that is similar to the model that the EU and some European countries have signed with South Africa.

Timmermans showed his impression at Vietnam’s achievements in developing a self-reliant economy, affirming that the EU attaches great importance to the comprehensive partnership with Vietnam and hopes 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 strong commitments of Vietnam that made important contributions to the success of the COP26, stating that the EU and its members hope to accompany Vietnam during the country’s sustainable development process and are willing to share experience, give technical support to and mobilise resources for Vietnam to realise its commitments, while supporting the country to become self-reliant in energy.

PM Chinh and his guest also discussed international and regional issues, including the settlement of the East Sea issue through peaceful measures with respect for international law and the 1982 UN Convention on the Law of the Sea.

They agreed to promote 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 Chinh took the occasion to extend his invitation to EC President Ursula von der Leyen to visit Vietnam.

Vietnam, EU seek to promote energy partnership

Vietnam, EU seek to promote energy partnership hinh anh 1
An overview of the meeting (Photo:VNA)

Minister of Industry and Trade Nguyen Hong Dien had a meeting with visiting Executive Vice President of the European Commission (EC) Frans Timmermans in Hanoi on February 18, during which the two sides sought cooperation orientations in the future, especially in energy and power transformation.

Dien hailed the visit by the EC official in the context that Vietnam and the EU are actively building and implementing specific action plans to realise the outcomes of the 26th United Nations Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COP26).

The minister asked for support from the EU, the leading partners with strong commitments and actions in climate change mitigation and green transformation, in the transformation of the growth model towards a green, circular and sustainable economy.

Both sides discussed many issues of shared concern such as the policy to adapt to climate change, plans to realise commitments at the COP26 and power transformation plans ad well as the orientation for the development of circular economy.

Minister Dien said that Vietnam’s commitments at the COP26 show the country’s determination to persistently complete the target of switching from traditional fossil energy sources to green energy resources to reduce greenhouse gas emissions with its own strength together with cooperation and support from the international community in both financial resources and technology.

The Ministry of Industry and Trade will prioritise the support to clean and renewable energy projects and is willing to coordinate with partners and donors from the EU in the field, he stated.

Sustainable development cooperation between the two sides has been implemented positively and efficiently over the years through the institutions within the EU-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA), he noted, adding that it is Vietnam’s first deal with contents related to sustainable development, which shows the country’s great attention to the balance between trade and environmental protection.

Thanks to the EVFTA, Vietnam has favourable conditions to access modern technologies from the EU and draw more projects to speed up the growth of green and digital economy as well as renewable energy, thus helping Vietnamese products meet technical and environmental requirements in the EU market, he said.

At the meeting, both sides expressed delight at the Vietnam-EU cooperation in economy, trade and energy, and agreed to strengthen their partnership in the future.

The Vietnamese side proposed that the EU continue to support and give priority to technical and financial support and the transfer of technology to Vietnam, including sustainable energy transformation programme and the Vietnam Energy Partnership Group (VEPG).

According to the General Department of Vietnam Customs, last year, trade between Vietnam and the EU reached 57 billion USD in 2021, up 14.5 percent year on year, with Vietnam’s export revenue rising 14.2 percent to 40.1 billion USD.

The Import-Export Department under the Ministry of Industry and Trade reported that in the first year of implementing the EVFTA, the export revenue of products using the EUR.1 certificate of origin (C/O) reached about 7.71 billion USD.

Source: VNA

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