The event took place ahead of a visit to Vietnam by a COASI delegation from April 24 to 26.

Ambassador Nguyen Van Thao affirmed that Vietnam attaches importance to the role of and its relations with the E.U. amid the highly volatile regional and international situation.

Representatives from the Vietnamese Embassy in Belgium - the Vietnamese Delegation to the European Union (E.U.) and the Asia-Oceania Working Party (COASI) of the E.U. Council at the meeting.

The two sides share many common concerns in such fields as trade, investment, climate change, green transition, international law adherence, and cooperation within multilateral frameworks, he noted, considering these as potential areas for them to consider enhancing cooperation in in the time ahead.

Vietnam and the E.U. have secured a foundation of long-term and comprehensive relations. The Southeast Asian country also boasts sound relations and traditional friendship with E.U. member states. Given this, after the trying times caused by the COVID-19 pandemic and facing global and regional challenges, it’s now good time for them to strengthen connections, he remarked.

Thao expressed his belief that the COASI delegation’s visit will help build up mutual understanding to further intensify the Vietnam - E.U. links.

COASI Chairman Michal Safianick said the COASI delegation coming to Vietnam will gather about 30 members, including representatives of 27 E.U. member states, the European External Action Service (EEAS) and the European Council. The first trip of COASI to Southeast Asia aims to learn more about Vietnam and the region and seek opportunities for boosting Vietnam’s cooperation with the E.U. as well as the bloc’s members.

The cooperation with Vietnam is one of the E.U.’s priorities in the Indo-Pacific region, he said, adding that Vietnam and Indonesia are the destinations of the COASI delegation’s visit given their importance and roles in the region.

Safianick went on to say that Vietnam and the E.U. hold considerable cooperation potential driven by current agreements, especially their bilateral free trade agreement (EVFTA) and the one on the Just Energy Transition Partnership (JETP).

At the meeting, representatives of EU countries also voiced their hope that the visit will help deepen their understanding of Vietnam, especially its viewpoints and policies on socio-economic development, security, defense, and external affairs, thereby contributing to mutual understanding and trust and opening up cooperation opportunities.

Some areas they showed interest in include trade, investment, climate change, green transition, blue economy, maritime security, cyber-security, digital transformation, and democratic and human rights issues.

COASI delegations’ visits to countries/regions outside the E.U. are annual activities organised by the EEAS and COASI with a view to learning more about the regions and partners important to the E.U. to bolster the bloc’s relations with them and help develop the E.U.’s foreign policy.

Source: VNA