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Brussels, 4 October 2010
Joint Statement by the President of the European Commission José Manuel Durão Barroso and the Prime Minister of Socialist Republic of Vietnam Nguyen Tan Dung, made on the occasion of the visit of Prime Minister Dung to the European Commission
European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso welcomed Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung on his visit to the European Commission on 4 October.
President Barroso and Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung celebrated the twentieth anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic ties between the Socialist Republic of Viet Nam and the European Community (1990). They expressed their satisfaction over the rapid and substantive development of Vietnam-EU relations and agreed that the relationship was based on shared principles, mutual respect, and a joint commitment to pursuing constructive and multifaceted cooperation on a wide range of issues, which is in the long-term interest of both parties.
The President of the European Commission and the Prime Minister of the Socialist Republic of Viet Nam witnessed the initialing of a new comprehensive EU-Viet Nam Partnership and Cooperation Agreement (PCA). They agreed that this new Agreement would be the framework for the development of an equal, long-term and stable partnership and comprehensive cooperation for peace and development between Viet Nam and the EU.
The PCA outlines an ambitious agenda for expanding bilateral cooperation in areas such as poverty alleviation, human rights, education and training, health, energy, migration, business, trade, investment and cooperation on moving towards the early recognition of Viet Nam’s market economy status as soon as possible, subject to the relevant procedures. The Agreement will also take forward cooperation on jointly meeting global challenges, such as addressing climate change, achieving the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), strengthening international governance, enhancing resilience to economic downturns, and confronting non-proliferation and promoting arms control.
The EU and Viet Nam reaffirm in the new PCA that their relationship will be guided by the general principles of international law and the purposes and principles of the Charter of the United Nations, respect for democratic principles, human rights and the rule of law, and will take into account their respective levels of developments as well as their commitment to achieve internationally agreed development goals, including the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). They agree that their cooperation under the Agreement will be in accordance with their respective legislation.
The PCA opens a new chapter in Viet Nam-EU relations. Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung and President Barroso expressed their hope that the Agreement will be signed and ratified as soon as possible.
President Barroso congratulated Viet Nam on its achievements and reiterated the commitment of the EU to supporting the country’s development and reform process, including through the implementation of the EU Multi-annual Indicative Programme (MIP) for development cooperation for 2011-2013, which will seek to consolidate the progress made by Viet Nam in achieving the MDGs. Prime Minister Dung welcomed the contribution, made by the EU through its development cooperation and the Generalised System of Preferences (GSP), to Viet Nam’s success in carrying out economic transition and global integration and attaining socio-economic development and early fulfilment of the MDGs.
Both sides welcomed deepening economic interdependence and growing trade and investment, noting that two-way trade had achieved €11.5 billion in 2009 and that the EU was one of Vietnam’s top export markets. Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung and President Barroso agreed to further strengthen the trade relationship and to discuss all trade-related issues in a spirit of cooperation. They agreed to launch FTA negotiations as soon as technical work has been completed. Both sides agreed that such an FTA would take into account their respective needs and levels of development as well as provide long-term and predictable access to respective markets.
Prime Minister Dung and President Barroso welcomed EU investment in Vietnam, which has contributed to the momentum of Viet Nam’s development. Both sides agreed to pursue all opportunities for generating economic activity during these challenging economic times. They welcomed the signing by the Government of Viet Nam and the European Investment Bank (EIB) of a €73 million loan agreement to finance the construction of a metro line in Hanoi.
The EU and Viet Nam also signed a Horizontal Air Services Agreement, which establishes a sound legal basis for the increasingly important aviation relations between the EU and Viet Nam.
President Barroso congratulated Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung for Vietnam’s current chairmanship of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and for his country’s active and constructive role in promoting ASEAN integration. Both sides expressed their wish to enhancing further EU relations with ASEAN. Viet Nam welcomes the intention of the EU to accede to the Treaty of Amity and Cooperation (TAC) and, as Chairman of ASEAN, will facilitate the ratification of the 3rd Protocol amending the TAC in order to allow the EU to be a signatory to the TAC as early as possible.
In order to promote mutual understanding and to expand bilateral cooperation, Prime Minister Dung and President Barroso agreed to increase exchange of visits at all levels, especially high-level ones. They agreed to increase dialogue at bilateral and multilateral levels on all issues of mutual interest.