VNS | February, 03 2010
Viet Nam, EU progress in co-operation negotiations
HA NOI — Viet Nam and the European Union have fully agreed on two-thirds of the articles after the sixth round of negotiations on the Partnership and Co-operation Agreement, according to head of the European Commission Delegation in Viet Nam Sean Doyle.
During the two-day meeting which wrapped up yesterday, the two sides continued their discussions on political, security, trade and investment co-operation. The parties made progress regarding exchange of information and co-operation on a number of articles including those on regional and international organisations, bilateral and regional co-operation and counter-terrorism.
They also discussed co-operation in fighting against international organised crime, money laundering and support for Viet Nam to cope with natural disasters.
According to Doyle, the other issues which hadn’t seen mutual agreement included those concerning the movement of labour and migration and human rights.
"We have a feeling that we are making good progress. None of these issues are necessarily a huge obstacle. There is a good will on both sides to come to an agreement," said Doyle.
"The whole trade area is complicated and this is a partnership and co-operation which is a political agreement, but we also planned the negotiations with Viet Nam on the Free Trade Agreement which we hope will begin in the next couple of months," he said.
During the meeting, Viet Nam’s team was led by Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Bui Thanh Son while the EU team was headed by James Moran, director for Asia, European Commission Directorate for External Relations.
"We still need at least two more rounds but we hope we could possibly finish the negotiations within this year," said Doyle.
The next round will be held in Brussels in the second quarter of this year. — VNS