Brussels, 26 June 2012
The EU and Vietnam to sign Partnership and Cooperation Agreement (PCA)
Catherine Ashton, the EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and Vice-President of the European Commission, will on 27 June in Brussels sign a new EU-Vietnam Partnership and Cooperation Agreement (PCA) with Vietnamese Minister of Foreign Affairs Pham Binh Minh.
“The EU has strong stakes in the success of Vietnam’s reforms. It is committed to forging an upgraded, broader and more diversified relationship with Vietnam, a partner willing to take on increasing responsibilities on the world scene, a central actor of ASEAN, and a particularly dynamic economy. I look forward to signing a new Partnership and Cooperation Agreement which will help to take relations to a new level. I hope this Agreement will soon be complemented by an ambitious EU-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement,“ said Catherine Ashton.
The new PCA demonstrates the commitment of the EU to forge a modern, broad-based and mutually-beneficial partnership with Vietnam. It will broaden further the scope of EU-Vietnam cooperation in areas such as trade, the environment, energy, science and technology, good governance, as well as tourism, culture, migration, counter terrorism and the fight against corruption and organised crime.
The PCA will also allow Vietnam and the EU, which share the same interest in a strong multilateral rule-based system and strong institutions of global governance, to further enhance cooperation on global and regional challenges, including climate change, terrorism and non-proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, all issues on which Vietnam is willing to play an increasingly active role.
The PCA brings on board the EU and all its Member States, therefore providing opportunities to increase coherence and synergies between EU policies and between EU and individual Member States’ policies. The Government of Vietnam and the EU have already identified some priorities for immediate action under the PCA.
The EU is looking forward to the trade and investment principles established in the PCA being completed by a Vietnam-EU Free Trade Agreement (FTA), which will also bring two-way trade and investment to new levels. On 26 June, EU Trade Commissioner Karel De Gucht and Vietnamese Minister for Industry and Trade Vu Huy Hoang are officially launching negotiations for a FTA.
Since the establishment of diplomatic relations in October 1990, Vietnam-EU relations have developed very rapidly, moving from an initial focus on trade and aid to a broader, more diversified and more political partnership. The new EU-Vietnam Partnership and Cooperation Agreement (PCA), which has been concluded in October 2010 and will be signed on 27 June, will replace a Cooperation Agreement dating back from 1995. The new PCA will need to be ratified by EU Member States and submitted to the European Parliament before it enters formally into force.
A similar PCA was concluded with the Philippines in 2010 and should be signed shortly. In November 2009, Indonesia was the first country of ASEAN to sign a new-generation PCA with the EU.
The signature ceremony of the PCA will take place at the BERL VIP corner at 14h45 and will be broadcasted on EBS.