PCA between two sides becomes closer, as does the FTA.
Vietnam and the European Union (EU) signed a Protocol for the Framework Agreement on the Comprehensive Partnership and Cooperation (PCA) in Brussels on November 19.
The protocol was inked by Vietnamese Ambassador to Belgium and head of the Vietnam delegation to the EU, H.E. Pham Sanh Chau, and Ambassador H.E. Stefano Sannion, Head of the Italian Delegation to the EU, according to Vietnam News Agency. The document will now need to be ratified by all signatories.
Speaking at the signing ceremony, Ambassador Chau reiterated that the EU is now a leading trade and economic partner and an important export market of Vietnam. The two sides’ relations have grown over recent years, he went on, reflected in the great support the EU has provided to Vietnam as well as in visits by high-ranking leaders, including those in August by the President of the European Commission (EC) Jose Manuel Durao Barroso and EC Vice President and High Representative of the EU for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Catherine Ashton, and Vietnam’s Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung’s trip to the EU in October.
The PCA framework will contribute to further tightening bilateral ties. Ambassador Sannion was quoted by Vietnam News Agency as saying the framework agreement is an important step in further strengthening and expanding bilateral relations in numerous fields. It is also hoped to help speed up negotiations on the Vietnam-EU Free Trade Agreement, which is expected to be signed in 2015.
Two-way trade has increased continuously, hitting 26.6 billion euro last year, of which 21.3 billion euro were from Vietnam’s exports. As at the end of 2013 the EU had 1,402 projects in Vietnam, with total registered capital of over $18 billion.
Vietnam and the EU signed the PCA in June 2012, which will become effective after being ratified by EU member states. It affirms the EU’s commitment to maintaining its partnership with Vietnam and expanding bilateral cooperation in trade, the environment, energy, science and technology, State management, culture, education, and corruption and crime prevention.
The agreement also allows the two sides to share common interests in a multilateral legal system and global management mechanism, thus enhancing their coordination in responding to regional and global challenges.