Among ASEAN Countries, Vietnam Would be a Key Priority: EU Today

In an article titled ‘Strengthening relationships with ASEAN countries: an EU strategic priority’, the EU Today wrote that among ASEAN countries, Vietnam would be a key priority.

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Among ASEAN Countries, Vietnam Would be a Key Priority: EU Today
At the welcome ceremony for Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh in Belgium. Photo: VNA

The Vietnam-EU relations and Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh’s trip to the EU from December 13-15 have been covered by the Belgian media in recent days.

In an article titled ‘Strengthening relationships with ASEAN countries: an EU strategic priority’, the EU Today said among ASEAN countries, Vietnam would be a key priority, promoting economic and trade relations between ASEAN and the EU.

It quoted Senator Andries Gryffroy, Permanent Vice President of the Belgian Senate, as saying Vietnam has an important geostrategic position in the Indo-Pacific.

“Vietnam’s economy is currently an important link in the supply chain and economic value of the ASEAN with many advantages such as: a stable macro environment, a dynamic economy, an increasingly open consumer market, a stable political background, consistent in economic development and foreign investment policy,” said Gryffroy.

Vietnam – EU relations are currently considered to be at a historical high. Vietnam and the EU currently have a very deep relationship, with many cooperation frameworks, typically the EU-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA) which took effect from August 1st, 2020, according to the article.

Among ASEAN Countries, Vietnam Would be a Key Priority: EU Today
At the talks between Vietnamese and Belgian Prime Ministers. Photo: VNA

It cited the data from the European Institute for Asian Studies (EIAS) as showing that the EU is Vietnam’s leading trading partner and both the third largest export market and the fifth largest import market of Vietnam. The total bilateral import-export turnover between Vietnam and the EU reached EUR57.11 billion in the first nine months of 2022, up 10.3% over the same period in 2021. The EU is currently the 5th largest foreign investor in Vietnam with a total registered capital of USD 27.6 billion USD (accumulated until August 2022).

The article also cited opinion from the Flanders Chamber of Commerce and Investment, which assessed that in addition to the role of a bridge between the two blocs’ markets, the Vietnamese market has a young population and is an attractive destination for leading European investors, especially in sectors such as clean technology, food, beverage and logistics.

The Brussels Times on December 12 ran an article, titled ‘Vietnam – A sustained development partner and destination of foreign investment for EU in Southeast Asia’, saying EU regional partners, such as Vietnam have great potential to promote stronger and more effective cooperative relations for the benefit of their respective regions and citizens.

Among ASEAN Countries, Vietnam Would be a Key Priority: EU Today
Vietnam and the EU currently have a very deep relationship, with many cooperation frameworks, typically the EU-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA) which took effect from August 1st, 2020. Photo: VNA

The relationship between Vietnam and the EU is currently considered to be at its prime in history, it said. Currently, Vietnam and the EU have close ties with many cooperative frameworks, such as the EVFTA.

The Belgian press stated that the official visit to the country by Vietnamese Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh from December 13-15 will certainly be a new milestone and an impetus for the promotion of bilateral relations to new heights.

They said within the framework of the EU-ASEAN Commemorative Summit, the Vietnamese delegation led by Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh would commit to Vietnam’s orientation on renewable energy development, green and sustainable growth, digital transformation, and innovation. These commitments had been announced by the PM at the 26th United Nations Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COP26) held in Glasgow last year and are in line with Belgium’s priorities as well as the EU Agenda.

The newspapers concluded that PM Chinh’s visit is an opportunity for Belgium and EU countries to further promote cooperation in various fields, for the benefit of the people and for the common interests of mankind./.

ASEAN and EU established their relationship in 1977 and upgraded it to a strategic partnership in 2020. The ASEAN-EU Commemorative Summit is the first of its kind, marking the 45th anniversary of ties.

Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh’s trip includes various bilateral and multilateral activities. Through the trip, Vietnam affirms its role, responsibility and sense of solidarity in ASEAN, contributing to further deepening the ASEAN-EU strategic partnership and ties between Vietnam and EU member states.

His official visit to Belgium aims to strengthen ties between the two countries, especially in the marine economy and ecological agriculture./.

Rosie Huong