Vietnam and EU Collaborate for Sustainable and Inclusive Prosperity

Both the Vietnamese and EU sides highlighted the comprehensive and diverse cooperative partnership they share, engaging in discussions on various subjects pertaining to bilateral cooperation.

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The fourth meeting of the Vietnam-EU Joint Committee under the EU-Vietnam Partnership and Cooperation Agreement (PCA) was held recently in Brussels, Belgium, VNA reported.

The EU delegation was headed by Paola Pampaloni, Acting Managing Director for Asia Pacific in the European External Action Service. The Vietnamese delegation was led by Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Le Thi Thu Hang.

They were also joined by the European Commission, and EU member states and representatives from Vietnamese government agencies.

Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Le Thi Thu Hang and Paola Pampaloni, Acting Managing Director for Asia and Pacific in the European External Action Service. Source: TG&VN
Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Le Thi Thu Hang and Paola Pampaloni, Acting Managing Director for Asia and Pacific in the European External Action Service. Source: TG&VN

According to the press release following the meeting, the EU and Vietnam underlined the breadth and depth of their multifaceted relationship, discussing a broad range of topics in the various fields of their bilateral cooperation, including political issues, security and defense cooperation, trade and investment, sustainable development, official development assistance, fisheries, climate change, and the sustainable energy transition, as well as good governance, the rule of law and human rights.

The EU presented its new European Chips Act and the European Critical Raw Materials Act, highlighting the EU’s need to diversify and secure its supply chains.

The two sides took stock of the discussions held earlier in the year in Hanoi in the various sub-committees of the CPA and agreed to build on these during their next sessions to be organized in 2024.

They reviewed their cooperation and trade relations under their Free Trade Agreement and pledged to work together to further boost sustainable and inclusive prosperity while aiming at progress on some outstanding regulatory issues and full implementation of the agreement.

They looked forward to intensifying their cooperation with the visit of the Executive Vice President of the European Commission, Valdis Dombrovskis, in Vietnam at the beginning of November and the third Trade Committee at the ministerial level meeting to be held in Brussels on December 1, preceded by the third Trade and Sustainable Development Committee, the Domestic Advisory Group and the third Committee on Trade in Goods.

An overview of the meeting. Photo: VNA
An overview of the meeting. Photo: VNA

The EU commended Vietnam’s commitment to become climate-neutral by 2050. The EU and Vietnam reviewed recent progress on their Just Energy Transition Partnership (JETP), bringing together Vietnamese authorities and international partners in a joint endeavor to support Vietnam’s low-emission and climate-resilient development.

The JETP will promote investment in the decarbonization of Vietnam’s electricity system to bring down greenhouse gas emissions and contribute to the international climate change agenda. They will continue their joint efforts towards the launch of the JETP’s Resource Mobilization Plan at the earliest opportunity.

They reiterated that for the transition to be just and equitable, regular consultation is required, including with media, NGOs and other stakeholders so as to ensure a broad social consensus.

The EU invited Vietnam to the third Indo-Pacific Ministerial Forum to be held in Brussels on February 2, 2024. The EU and Vietnam agreed that, building on the success of the previous forums in Paris (2022) and Stockholm (2023), the Brussels Ministerial Forum would provide another significant opportunity to discuss global issues and how to address more effectively the challenges posed by the complexity of the Indo-Pacific landscape.

The two sides exchanged views on recent security developments, where they agreed on the need to find peaceful solutions while respecting the principles of international law and the UN Charter. On Ukraine, the EU and Vietnam reiterated their positions as expressed in other fora. They also underscored the need for a comprehensive, just, and lasting peace in Ukraine by the UN Charter and international law.

The EU and Vietnam reaffirmed their commitment to the UN Charter and international law including the need to respect the sovereignty, independence, and territorial integrity of all states. They also shared views on the situation in the Middle East and in Myanmar and discussed the EU-ASEAN partnership.

Vietnam, EU Commit to Working Together to Promote Sustainable, Inclusive Prosperity
Two sides pose for a group photo. Photo: VNA

As regards the East Sea, they expressed concern at recent developments and reaffirmed the importance of peace, stability, security and freedom of navigation and overflight and stressed the importance for all parties to abide by international law, including the 1982 UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS).

They discussed the potential for enhancing security cooperation, including in the areas of maritime security and cybersecurity. The EU reiterated its gratitude for the deployment of two Vietnamese officers to the EU Training Mission in the Central African Republic.

The EU and Vietnam also exchanged views on sustainable development, including through new cooperation opportunities stemming from the Global Gateway, which held its first Forum in Brussels on October 25-26 attended by Vietnamese Deputy Prime Minister Tran Hong Ha.

The EU stressed the need for the inclusive participation of all partners in development matters. The EU and Vietnam discussed sustainable fishery developments, including ongoing actions with regard to combating illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing.

Vietnam, EU Commit to Working Together to Promote Sustainable, Inclusive Prosperity
Deputy Minister Hang received Deputy Secretary General of the EEAS Helena Konig. Photo: VNA

They shared their respective positions and objectives for upcoming environment and biodiversity-related international negotiations with the aim of building possible synergies for sustainable global development.

Support for international law and the international order based on international law, good governance, the rule of law, respect for fundamental rights and engagement of relevant partners are essential elements of the EU-Vietnam relationship.

Hannah Nguyen