Vietnam Sets a Remarkable Precedent for Collaboration with the European Union

Vietnam has once again proven to be a shining example of cooperation with the European Union. It has strengthened its bilateral ties with Switzerland, particularly in the field of education. Vietnam has also reaffirmed the significant role of its parliament in achieving sustainable development goals. However, there is some unfortunate news as African swine fever has been detected in central Vietnam. These recent updates showcase both the achievements and challenges that Vietnam is facing on its path to progress.

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Vietnam News Today (Oct. 27) notable headlines

Vietnam a great example of cooperation with EU: EC President

Vietnam and Switzerland broaden bilateral education cooperation

Vietnam affirms parliamentary role in achieving sustainable development goals

African swine fever recorded in central Vietnam

Vietnam, European Investment Bank sign MoU to support implementation of JETP

ADB, Switzerland aid fintech development in Vietnam

Tech giants to attend Vietnam International Innovation Expo

Standard Chartered maintains robust 2024 GDP growth forecast of 6.7% for Vietnam

Vietnam, Southeast Asian nations seek ways to address statelessness

Deputy Prime Minister Tran Hong Ha speaks at a session of the forum. (Photo: VNA)
Deputy Prime Minister Tran Hong Ha speaks at a session of the forum. (Photo: VNA)

Vietnam a great example of cooperation with EU: EC President

Vietnam has set a great example of cooperation with the European Union (EU), President of the European Commission (EC) Ursula von der Leyen told Deputy Prime Minister Tran Hong Ha in Brussels on October 25.

At the meeting, which took place on the sidelines of the Global Gateway Forum organised by the EU, Leyen affirmed that Vietnam is an important partner in implementing cooperation strategies and initiatives in the region.

For his part, Ha affirmed that Vietnam values the partnership and comprehensive cooperation with the EU, hailing its new strategies and initiatives on strengthening cooperation with the Asia-Pacific.

He expressed his hope that the EU and its member countries will further support Vietnam in finance, technology, and personnel training to serve climate change response and energy transition, cited VNA.

Ha also called on the countries to soon ratify the EU-Vietnam Investment Protection Agreement (EVIPA), and fully implement the EU-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA) to promote trade and investment ties between the two sides.

The official suggested the EC consider lifting its “yellow card” warning on Vietnamese seafood exports to spur the country’s recovery and sustainable development.

Leyen commended Vietnam’s close cooperation in climate change response, especially in the implementation of the Just Energy Transition Partnership (JETP), and thanked the country for its efforts in materialising EC recommendations against illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing, saying she hopes that the issue will be resolved in the time ahead.

Regarding the implementation of the Global Gateway Strategy, the EC President pledged to further prioritise cooperation with Vietnam in renewable energy, digital transformation, and green growth.

They shared the view that the signing of a memorandum of understanding (MoU) between the Vietnamese Ministry of Finance and the European Investment Bank (EIB) will create a foundation and favourable conditions for the two sides to step up collaboration in coping with global issues.

Both held that private enterprises and capital play a crucial role in realizing the JETP.

Earlier, Ha and EIB President Werner Hoyer witnessed the signing of the MoU on financial support worth 500 million EUR (US$527.77 million) which aims to contribute to the rollout of the JETP.

The Global Gateway Forum is bringing together representatives of governments from the EU and around the world with the private sector, civil society, leading thinkers, financing institutions, and international organizations in a two-day, invitation-only event in Brussels on October 25-26.

Addressing a session green energy transition and green hydrogen, Ha stressed that Vietnam is ready to work together with other countries for sustainable development.

He appealed to developed countries and the private sector to increase the supply of technology and green finance, support in personnel training, and management experience so that the whole world can achieve the same goal of net emissions by 2050.

Vietnam and Switzerland broaden bilateral education cooperation

Vietnam wishes to strengthen education cooperation with Switzerland, especially in developing high quality education and increasing the exchange of education institutions between the two countries.

Deputy Prime Minister Le Minh Khai was speaking at a reception in Hanoi on October 26 for State Secretary of the Swiss Federal Department of Economic Affairs, Education and Research Dominique Paravicini, who is in Hanoi for the second OECD Southeast Asia Ministerial Forum.

He expected that Switzerland would help to deploy joint training programs in industries of its strengths, especially in pharmaceuticals, manufacturing, precision mechanics, tourism, finance-banking and insurance. He also proposed that Switzerland increase the number of scholarships granted to Vietnamese students to study in its institutions.

Vietnamese Deputy Prime Minister Le Minh Khai and State Secretary of the Swiss Federal Department of Economic Affairs, Education and Research Dominique Paravicini, during their meeting in Hanoi on October 26. (Photo: VGP)
Vietnamese Deputy Prime Minister Le Minh Khai and State Secretary of the Swiss Federal Department of Economic Affairs, Education and Research Dominique Paravicini, during their meeting in Hanoi on October 26. (Photo: VGP)

Khai said political and diplomatic relations between the two countries have been strengthened in recent times that should be maintained to increase political trust and expand cooperation.

He thanked Switzerland for providing development aid, especially ODA, for Vietnam’s poverty reduction and urban development. He proposed that both countries work closely to effectively implement Switzerland’s US$76 million grant for the development of the private economic sector for 2021-2024.

He assured his guest that the government of Vietnam will create the best possible conditions for Swiss firms to do business effectively and expand operations in the long term in the country, especially in the areas of finance-banking, insurance, manufacturing, pharmaceuticals, agriculture, and high technology, according to VOV.

According to Khai, Vietnam wishes to end negotiations on a free trade agreement between Vietnam and the European Free Trade Association (EFTA). It therefore expects that Switzerland, an important member of the EFTA, will help speed up negotiations towards signing the deal soon.

Paravicini for his part briefed his host on the results of his working sessions with relevant Vietnamese agencies, and affirmed that in its foreign policy Switzerland wants to befriend all countries and develop economic-trade relations as a good foundation for building political cooperation.

He valued Vietnam’s improved investment environment and said Swiss businesses are keen to invest in the Southeast Asian nation. He expressed belief that more Swiss businesses would come to Vietnam and more high-end products from Vietnam would make inroads into the Swiss market.

Both Switzerland and Vietnam still have a lot of room to further enhance their cooperation in the coming time, he said.

Vietnam affirms parliamentary role in achieving sustainable development goals

Deputy Chairman of the National Assembly (NA) Nguyen Khac Dinh on October 25 delivered a speech at a plenary session of the 147th Assembly of the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) and related meetings held in Luanda from October 23 to 27.

In his remarks, Dinh emphasised that Vietnam’s NA plays an important role in reforming the country’s institutions, supervising the rule of the law, and ensuring the implementation of sustainable development strategies, VNA reported.

Deputy Chairman of the National Assembly (NA) Nguyen Khac Dinh speaks at the event. (Photo: VNA)
Deputy Chairman of the National Assembly (NA) Nguyen Khac Dinh speaks at the event. (Photo: VNA)

He stated that the Vietnamese law-making body welcomes the active role of the IPU and always works closely with it in promoting dialogue, cooperation, and support among member parliaments to enhance connectivity, exchange experiences, and provide practical solutions to contribute to building a sustainable peace worldwide.

Lauding the event’s theme of “Parliamentary action for peace, justice and strong institutions (SDG 16)”, Dinh recommended member parliaments work together and concert efforts to accelerate the progress towards achieving sustainable development goals (SDGs) in the remaining half of the journey. It is necessary to make these goals a priority in national target programs, socio-economic development master plans, and parliamentary activities.

The legislator also stressed the importance of promoting solidarity and cooperation among countries to enable developing nations to access international financial, technological, and technical resources offered by international organizations and developed countries to achieve the SDGs by 2030.

On the same day, the NA Deputy Chairman engaged in bilateral meetings with Permanent Deputy Chairman of the National Assembly of Angola Americo Antonio Cuononoca, Speaker of the Tanzanian National Assembly Tulia Ackson, and Speaker of the Parliament of Malta’s House of Representatives Angelo Farrugia.

Dinh also visited the Vietnamese Embassy in Angola, meeting its personnel and representatives of the Vietnamese expatriate community there.

African swine fever recorded in central Vietnam

Veterinarians have culled dozens of pigs in Suoi Tan commune of Khanh Hoa province in central Vietnam after local pigs were infected with the African swine fever virus.

Many of the pigs raised in a backyard farm in Dau Son village of Suoi Tan commune, showed symptoms of the disease such as high fever, bleeding and pale skin. Four pigs died and later tests proved the pig had contracted the virus.

The virus was also found on two droves of pigs raised in other farms nearby after the pigs showed similar symptoms, cited VOV.

Culling pigs infected with the African swine fever virus in a Vietnamese locality.
Culling pigs infected with the African swine fever virus in a Vietnamese locality.

Veterinarians culled 70 pigs weighing nearly 7 tonnes and disinfected farms to prevent the virus spreading to healthy pigs in the locality.

Suoi Tan commune has four villages that raise approximately 2,000 pigs, including 1,300 heads at a commercial farm by C.P. Vietnam Livestock Co., Ltd.

Vietnam, European Investment Bank sign MoU to support implementation of JETP

Vietnam and the European Investment Bank signed an MoU to support the implementation of the Just Energy Transition Partnership (JETP) in VN, signifying a mutual commitment to put in place a multi-projects credit facility worth EUR500 million.

Once this credit facility is finalized and inked in the near term, it will establish a framework loan that will finance projects supporting decarbonisation and energy transition, cited VGP.

In addition, the EU will make available EUR16.6 million in technical assistance for Agence Française de Développement (AFD) to support Electricity Vietnam (EVN) in the preparation and implementation of projects linked to JETP.

The technical assistance facility will accompany a total of EUR1 billion sovereign and non-sovereign loans provided by Team Europe (AFD, KfW and EIB).

On the policy side, the EU is supporting the reforms in the energy sector, including to establish the legislative and technical conditions – on renewable energy, energy efficiency, transmission lines/grid – for the JETP to deliver sustainably, through the Sustainable Energy Transition budget support Program (SETP), to the tune of EUR142 million.

Addressing the signing ceremony in Brussels, President of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen said: “Today, we are taking an important step to support Vietnam’s ambitious Net Zero goal for 2050. The European Commission, the EIB and Vietnam are partnering to support the renewable energy transition and energy security. With this EUR500 million funding, Global Gateway is making a difference for the people of Vietnam.”

Photo: VNN
Photo: VNN

Through Global Gateway, the EU is committed to supporting Vietnam in achieving a just energy transition and fulfilling its national and international climate ambitions through a meaningful implementation of the Just Energy Transition Partnership (JETP).

The implementation of Global Gateway in Vietnam will also focus in the areas of green, circular economy and sustainability, as well as education and skills. Projects will include support to forest value chains, TVET, and skills development, amongst others.

The Global Gateway Forum brings together for the first time an assembly of government representatives from the European Union and across the globe, alongside key stakeholders from the private sector, civil society, thought leaders, financial institutions, and international organizations to promote global investment in transformative infrastructure – hard and soft- to deliver on SDGs and sustainable growth and resilience worldwide.

Global Gateway is the EU’s positive offer to reduce the worldwide investment gap and boost smart, clean and secure connections in digital, energy and transport sectors, and to strengthen health, education and research systems.

The Global Gateway strategy embodies a Team Europe approach that brings together the European Union, EU Member States, and European development finance institutions. Together, it aims to mobilise up to EUR300 billion in public and private investments from 2021 to 2027, creating essential links rather than dependencies, and closing the global investment gap.

Rosie Nguyen