Paris (VNA) – Minister of Foreign Affairs Bui Thanh Son met with officials of Brazil , France, the European Commission (EC), and Canada on the sidelines of the Organisation for Economic Cooperation Development (OECD) Ministerial Council Meeting 2023 in Paris on June 8.
Meeting with his Brazilian counterpart Mauro Vieira, he affirmed that Vietnam treasures and wishes to enhance the comprehensive partnership with Brazil, one of its most important partners in Latin America.
Son suggested the two sides maintain high-level delegation exchanges as well as coordination and mutual support at international organisations and multilateral forums, especially the United Nations, the World Trade Organisation (WTO), and others of which both are members.
He asked Brazil to support and push the launch of negotiations on a free trade agreement between Vietnam and the Southern Common Market (MERCOSUR), adding Vietnam is ready to serve as a bridge helping strengthen sectoral partnerships between the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and Brazil, along with the ties between ASEAN and MERCOSUR.
Minister Vieira congratulated Vietnam on its achievements in socio-economic development and agreed with his counterpart's suggestions, especially those about boosting effective and substantive cooperation in different spheres.
Both officials underscored the importance of ensuring security, safety, and freedom of navigation and overflight in the East Sea to peace and prosperous development in the regions and the world. They shared the view that all disputes must be resolved peacefully via dialogue and on the basis of international law, especially the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS).
Talking to Minister Son, Diplomatic Advisor to the French President Emmanuel Bonne expressed the determination to strongly promote the Vietnam – France strategic partnership.
He noted there remains much room for bilateral trade and investment links to grow further, the two sides should fully and effectively carry out the EU – Vietnam Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA), and that France will soon consider the ratification of the EU – Vietnam Investment Protection Agreement (EVIPA).
The two officials also agreed to support the expansion of cooperation in potential fields like climate change response and renewable energy production, and in responding to regional and global issues.
At the meeting with Executive Vice President of the EC Valdis Dombrovskis, Son called on the EC to promote the EVIPA ratification by the parliaments of member countries to create breakthrough in bilateral investment, and soon remove the "yellow card" warning against illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing for Vietnam's fishery exports.
He also asked both sides to work closely to implement the commitments under the Just Energy Transition Partnership (JETP) to help with energy transition in Vietnam.
Dombrovskis said Vietnam is an important partner of the European Union (EU) in Asia-Pacific and recommended the two sides step up connections in trade, investment, and climate change response. He also took note of Vietnam's proposal for accelerating the EVIPA ratification.
The Vietnamese and EC officials expressed their delight at the progress in the Vietnam – EU comprehensive partnership and cooperation, particularly in economic affairs, and agreed to further increase high-level mutual visits. They also discussed the possibility of expanding ties in other aspects such as labour, health care, and pharmaceuticals.
Regarding the East Sea issue, they affirmed support for the peaceful settlement of disputes on the basis of international law.
Meeting with Canadian Minister of International Trade, Export Promotion, Small Business and Economic Development Mary Ng, Minister Son called on the North American country to continue opening its market to key exports of Vietnam such as agricultural and fishery products, apparel, footwear, and steel.
The officials agreed on the need to keep fostering the Vietnam – Canada comprehensive partnership, especially in high-level delegation exchanges, trade and investment, green transition, OECD programmes, and education – training, as the countries are celebrating the 50th anniversary of their diplomatic relations.
The two countries will also capitalise on the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) and bolster coordination at regional cooperation mechanisms such as ASEAN – Canada and the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC), they said.
Later on June 8, Minister Son left for the Czech Republic, wrapping up the working visit to France and OECD ./.
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