EU launches negotiations for new Partnership and Co-operation
    Agreement with Vietnam
    06/10/2009, News from EU

    Commissioner for External Relations and European Neighbourhood Policy Benita Ferrero-Waldner
    met with Vietnamese Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Mr Pham Gia Khiem in the
    margins of the ASEM Foreign Ministers meeting in Hamburg on 28 May 2007. They agreed to launch
    negotiations for a new Partnership and Co-operation Agreement between the EU and Vietnam
    replacing the 1995 cooperation agreement, and reviewed recent developments in the bilateral
    relationship, including in the area of human rights.

    Speaking after the meeting, Commissioner Ferrero-Waldner said, “I am very pleased to announce
    today that the Commission and Vietnam will soon start negotiations for a new Partnership and Co-
    operation Agreement. Vietnam is a key partner in Southeast Asia and we now have a great
    opportunity to negotiate an agreement between the EU and Vietnam which fully reflects the breadth
    of our on-going dialogue. This dialogue has been expanded in the last few years to cover a number of
    strategic issues such as transnational crimes, migration and environmental concerns. We see
    considerable scope for reinforcing our co-operation in other areas, such as higher education and
    research and technological development.”

    Following a proposal by the Commission, the Council on 14 May agreed to include Vietnam in the
    existing negotiating directives for Partnership and Co-operation Agreements with six other ASEAN
    countries (Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand, Philippines and Brunei). Relations with Vietnam
    have been expanding during the last few years, in particular following the adoption of Vietnam’s
    “Master Plan” for its future relations with the European Union in 2005. The “Master Plan” is Vietnam’
    s first official strategy for a bilateral relationship and indicates the direction of future co-operation
    between the two sides.

    EU-Vietnam relations are booming, with bilateral trade increasing with 18% to reach €8,75 billion in
    2006. Vietnam is set to benefit further from a future EU-ASEAN Free Trade Agreement – the decision
    to launch negotiations was taken only earlier this month. The EU as a whole also remains one of the
    leading donors of development assistance to Vietnam, pledging more than €700 million for 2007 to
    be targeted mainly on poverty alleviation activities.
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