Welcoming the Vietnamese leader, Sassoli highly valued the country’s role in the region, stressing the EP and Vietnam share common interests in multiple areas and that the EP wants to enhance all-round cooperation with the country in such fields as trade and investment, COVID-19 prevention and control, and response to climate change, including challenges to water resources, saltwater intrusion, and drought.
NA Chairman Vuong Dinh Hue affirmed that the European Union (EU) is a partner of leading importance in Vietnam’s foreign and international integration policies.
The two sides have maintained high-level meetings; signed and effectively implemented many important cooperation agreements such as the Framework Agreement on Comprehensive Partnership and Cooperation Agreement (PCA), the EU-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA), and the Framework Participation Agreement (FPA); and maintained regular cooperation and dialogue cooperation mechanisms, thereby helping to lift the Vietnam - EU comprehensive partnership and cooperation, including the ties between the Vietnamese NA and the EP, to a new height, according to the Chairman.
At the talks, the two leaders discussed issues to further intensify the two parliaments’ ties so as to help develop Vietnam - EU relations more strongly for the sake of both sides.
To promote economic and trade links comprehensively, NA Chairman Vuong Dinh Hue expressed his hope that the EP will help promote its member parliaments’ ratification of the EU - Vietnam Investment Protection Agreement (EVIPA) to step up investment cooperation while continuing to facilitate the implementation of the EVFTA.
Regarding collaboration in the COVID-19 combat, he thanked the EP, relevant agencies of the EU, and parliamentarians’ groups in the EP for supporting and assisting Vietnam in the fight. He also echoed the EP’s viewpoint that only solidarity, sharing, and confidence of victory can help people address the pandemic’s consequences and return to a “new normal” life.
Particularly, NA Chairman Vuong Dinh Hue said, as the pandemic is developing more complicatedly, it requires stronger inter-regional (between ASEAN and the EU) and global cooperation to continue maintaining achievements in socio-economic development.
He also voiced his hope that the EP will accelerate vaccine supply from Europe via the COVAX Facility and sharing of redundant vaccines, along with medical supplies and COVID-19 drugs, and cooperate with the country in vaccine production.
Vietnam is ready to make all-round preparations to become a regional vaccine production centre, the top Vietnamese legislator emphasised.
He also took this occasion to ask the EP to support the removal of the “yellow card” warning on illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing against Vietnam’s fishery sector to help guarantee livelihoods for Vietnamese fishermen. He stated that the country has been exerting every effort to deal with the problem and gained positive outcomes.
With regard to bilateral parliamentary cooperation, the NA Chairman held that the achievements obtained so far should be promoted, and both sides should increase contacts at all levels.
Given this, he invited the EP President to visit Vietnam to discuss issues of common concern, including the establishment of practical and effective cooperation frameworks between the two parliaments.
For his part, Sassoli said the EVFTA is an exemplary cooperation model, adding that the EP has ratified the EVIPA and is promoting the remaining member parliaments’ ratification.
The EP sympathises with Vietnam’s current difficulties and will strive to seek vaccine and medical supplies for the country’s fight against COVID-19 as soon as possible, he noted.
The two leaders shared the view that relations between the Vietnamese NA and the EP are flourishing in both bilateral and multilateral channels, agreeing to increase the exchange of all-level delegations and share information and experience in parliamentary activities.
During the talks, the two sides exchanged views on issues related to international peace, security, and cooperation and underlined the role of international law and the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) in settling disputes and maintaining security, safety, and freedom of navigation and overflight.
They also agreed to closely coordinate and make active contributions to regional and international forums.
Following the talks, Hue received heads of the EP’s Committee on International Trade (INTA), the delegation for relations with the countries of Southeast Asia and ASEAN (DASE), the EP’s parliamentary friendship group. They looked into measures to reinforce ties in areas of common interest, including trade and EVFTA implementation.