VN welcomes EU’s stance on East Sea
14:09 | 05/08/2019

VGP – Viet Nam welcomes the EU’s viewpoint supporting maritime freedom, security, and safety in the East Sea, suggesting the EU continue to participate in maintaining peace and stability, promoting the rule of law and respect for the 1982 UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) and legitimate rights of relevant countries in the East Sea, said Deputy PM, FM Pham Binh Minh. 

Deputy PM, FM Pham Binh Minh (R) shakes hands with EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Federica Mogherini, Ha Noi, August 5, 2019 - Photo: VGP/Hai Minh

Deputy PM, FM Minh made statement at a press briefing with EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Federica Mogherini in Ha Noi on August 5. 

He went on to say that militarization and unilateral activities have intensified tensions, eroded trust, and damaged peace, security and stability in the region.

Regarding the bilateral ties, the two sides expressed their satisfaction at the positive developments in the Viet Nam-EU relations in general and cooperation between Viet Nam and each EU member in particular in all fields especially economics, trade, and investment. 

The EU is the 4th largest trade partner of Viet Nam with the two-way trade turnover hit US$ 55.8 billion and the 5th biggest foreign investor in the Southeast Asian country.

In addition, the EU is also the largest ODA provider for Viet Nam with €400 million in the 2014-2020 period. 

At the end of June, 2019, the two sides signed the EVFTA and the EVIPA to elevate economic and trade cooperation while reflecting their commitment to support free, fair, and transparent trading system as well as to boost Asia-Europe connectivity. 

On this occasion, the Deputy PM asked the EU side to early ratify the EVFTA and the EVIPA in favor of respective enterprises and people. 

Minh also appreciated the assistance of the EU and its members for socio-economic development and international integration in Viet Nam. He also hoped that the EU would continue support for Viet Nam to enhance institutional capacity and public governance, to implement the signed FTAs, to adapt to climate change, and develop sustainable energy and healthcare. 

The Deputy PM took the occasion to suggest the EU remove the “yellow card” imposed on Vietnamese seafood exports and jointly implement the Voluntary Partnership Agreement (VPA) on Forest Law Enforcement, Governance, and Trade (FLEGT).

Viet Nam highly values the role and status of the EU in the world and the region. The two sides pledged to boost cooperation as Viet Nam assumes the ASEAN Chairmanship in 2020 and a non-permanent seat at the UNSC in the 2020-2021 tenure. Viet Nam will proactively coordinate with the EU to further strengthen the ASEAN-EU relations, affirmed Mr. Minh. 

Addressing the press briefing, Ms. Federica Mogherini lauded the Viet Nam-EU partnership which entered the best period.

The EU High Representative was convinced that the EVFTA and EVIPA would not only bring about practical benefits for both sides but also affirm the commitments of both Viet Nam and the EU for the global free and fair trade system.

Besides trade and investment, there are opportunity for the two sides to further expand cooperation in sustainable energy and people-to-people exchanges. 

Regarding defense and national security, Ms. Federica Mogherini said Viet Nam and the EU have finalized negotiations for an agreement which facilitates Viet Nam’s engagement in the EU’s crisis management activities. 

The EU High Representative also shared Viet Nam’s concerns over the increasing tensions in the East Sea which are unconducive to peace and stability in the region.

She said the EU advocates freedom of navigation and aviation as well as finalization of talks on a legally-binding Code of Conduct (COC) in the East Sea with respect to international laws, especially the provisions of the UNCLOS.

Ms. Federica Mogherini congratulated Viet Nam as the ASEAN Chair 2020 and non-permanent member of the UNSC for the 2020-2021 tenure, saying it would provide good opportunities to foster the ASEAN-EU relations and coordination between Viet Nam and the EU members within the United Nations./.

By Kim Anh 

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