Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung delivers a speech at the COP 21 (Photo: VNA)
Brussels (VNA) – Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung’s recent working trip to France, Belgium and the European Union yields pragmatic outcomes across politics, external affairs, economics and culture, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Ha Kim Ngoc said in a press interview in Belgium on December 2.

The Deputy Minister said during the trip, in addition to attending the 21 st Conference of the Parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP 21) in Paris, the PM had talks and meetings with French, Belgian and EU leaders, which have helped to strengthen relations between Vietnam and these important partners.

The signing of a financial agreement with the EU for the EU Justice and Legal Empowerment Programme in Vietnam and particularly the signing of documents on the official conclusion of the EU-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA)’s negotiations have opened up new opportunities in the bilateral trade and investment cooperation, he stressed.

The EVFTA, along with the EU-Vietnam Partnership and Cooperation Agreement (PCA) – which is now in the ratification process by EU member countries, will create an important framework for long-term, sustainable and mutually beneficial cooperation between Vietnam and the EU, he said, describing this as a turning point and a prerequisite to elevate Vietnam – EU relations in the coming time.

The diplomat noted that the Vietnamese Government leader also met with French leading enterprises to seek new cooperation in technology with France – one of the five strategic partners of Vietnam in Europe. In Belgium, the PM and his counterpart Charles Michel discussed a list of 18 joint projects in the 2016-2018 period.

The PM also visited the UNESCO headquarters in Paris on the occasion of its 70 th founding anniversary. The signing of a cooperation programme between Vietnam and UNESCO in 2016-2020 shortly after Vietnam’s election to the UNESCO Executive Board demonstrates the UN agency’s trust of Vietnam as well as its desire to cooperate with the Southeast Asian country.

The Deputy Foreign Minister highlighted the PM’s participation in the COP 21 as the most significant multilateral diplomatic activity in 2015.

The PM delivered a speech reiterating Vietnam’s responsibility, commitment, and effort in joining hands with the international community to cope with climate change, the diplomat said, adding that the country obtained international support and assistance in the field.

In addition, the World Bank President and the CEO and Chairperson of the Global Environment Fund (GEF) were committed to assisting Vietnam in climate change adaptation via growing forests in coastal areas to prevent erosion and salt water intrusion. Both Belgium and France also showed interest in forestation projects in Vietnam and pledged to support the country in the realm.

A notable outcome was Vietnam’s success to bring the Mekong Delta, one of the most vulnerable regions to environmental changes, under the spotlight at the COP21. A high-level dialogue was held under the co-chair of the Vietnamese and Dutch Prime Ministers and the World Bank Vice President to discuss measures for climate change response in the Delta.-VNA