Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung has affirmed that Vietnam wishes to
boost two-way trade with the European Union (EU) and speed up
negotiations on the free trade agreement (FTA) between the two sides.
Receiving EU Trade Commissioner Karel de Gucht in
Hanoi on March 7, Dung said he believes with mutual effort and
political determination, the FTA negotiations will conclude later this
year, therefore contributing to bolstering Vietnam–EU trade for shared
and practical benefits.
Gucht, who is in Vietnam
to attend related meetings within the framework of the 19th ASEAN
Economic Ministers’ Meeting, said the EU wants to increase links with
Vietnam and other ASEAN member nations.
He vowed that the EU will make every effort to promptly conclude bilateral FTA negotiations with Vietnam .
During his visit to the Ho Chi Minh National Academy of Politics and
Administration the same day, Gutcht said he and Minister of Industry and
Trade Vu Huy Hoang launched the EU–Vietnam FTA negotiations in
Brussels, Belgium on June 26, 2012. The two sides seek a
comprehensive agreement on taxation, trade, and a non-tariff barrier, he
The first round of negotiations took place
in Hanoi last October. The second round got underway in Brussels
in January, 2013. The third round is scheduled to start on April 22,
2013, in Hanoi .
Gucht said the EU has devised a
trade assistance programme to help Vietnam improve its
infrastructure and education, and partly implement agreements reached by
the two sides.
The EU’s development assistance to Vietnam is around 750 million EUR a year ago.-VNA