HANOI, Oct. 23 (Xinhua) -- The Vietnamese Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the European Commission (EU) shared a view in a co- chaired seminar in Hanoi on Tuesday that the new Partnership and Cooperation Agreement (PCA) has been working as a new and positive framework for the bilateral cooperation.
Addressing the seminar, Vietnamese Deputy Foreign Minister Bui Thanh Son confirmed that the Vietnam-EU relations have positively and comprehensive developed in recent years, and EU becomes one of Vietnam's most important partners.
The new PCA, signed by the two sides in June this year, has expanded areas for cooperation including economics, trade, education and training, science and technology, agriculture, healthcare and tourism, as well as for regional and global cooperation, including response to climate change and fight against terrorism, said the Vietnamese official.
Head of the EU delegation to Vietnam, Ambassador Franz Jessen said that the new PCA is an important milestone in the EU-Vietnam relations, which proves EU's commitment to building a broad and modern partnership of mutual benefit with Vietnam.
The Vietnam-EU two-way trade turnover increased 15-20 percent annually, from 1.5 billion U.S. dollars in 1995 to over 24 billion U.S. dollars in 2011. Most member countries and large corporations of the EU have invested in Vietnam. Vietnam is among ASEAN leading trade partners of the EU, and the 35th globally. The EU members were Vietnam's biggest official development assistance (ODA) donors, with a total pledged amount during 1996-2011 of over 11 billion U.S. dollars.
Under the PCA, EU pledged to continue supporting Vietnam with the ODA after 2013 in lines with the country's social and economic development.