EU-Vietnam FTA needs to balance interests: Deputy PM

The EU-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA) needs to balance both sides’ interests and respects the articles that they have agreed on, Deputy Prime Minister Vuong Dinh Hue told Ambassador Bruno Angelet, head of the EU Delegation to Vietnam.

Deputy Prime Minister Vuong Dinh Hue (R) meets with Ambassador Bruno Angelet, head of the EU Delegation to Vietnam, on November 21 (Photo: VNA)

Deputy Prime Minister Vuong Dinh Hue (R) meets with Ambassador Bruno Angelet, head of the EU Delegation to Vietnam, on November 21 (Photo: VNA)

At a working session in Hanoi on November 21, Hue affirmed that the EVFTA is important to both Vietnam and the EU, asking the two sides to coordinate to speed up the signing and ratification of the trade pact in the first half of 2018.

The revision of economic cooperation contents should only relate to issues about the EU-Vietnam Framework Agreement on Comprehensive Partnership and Cooperation (PCA), other fields such as human rights should not be added, he noted.

He emphasised Vietnam’s policy of coordinating with the international community to better protect human rights on the basis of respect to historical and cultural differences and straightforward dialogue to narrow differences.

The Deputy PM also expressed his regret at the EU’s issuance of a “yellow card” which warns Vietnam for illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing. He noted that this issuance resulted in a more complicated environment amid the two sides’ enhancement of trade and investment cooperation.

Vietnam appreciates the EU’s warning, which aims to help the country tackle IUU fishing, he said, adding that its agencies have been taking synchronous solutions to solve, prevent and minimise IUU fishing.

Hue voiced his hope that the EU will soon remove the “yellow card” so as not to worry Vietnamese fishermen or affect the EVFTA signing.

Ambassador Angelet said the EU will work closely with Vietnam to carry out necessary solutions in order to soon remove the “yellow card” for Vietnam’s fishery products.

He also highly valued the Vietnamese Government’s activeness in directing ministries and sectors under the Vietnam-EU Joint Committee to take necessary steps to implement the EVFTA in 2018.

The PCA is important to accelerating the EVFTA signing and ratification, he noted, adding that to implement the PCA, a Vietnam-EU human rights dialogue will be held next week, and this dialogue will help deepen mutual understanding and strengthen bilateral relations in the time ahead.


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