Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Pham Binh Minh on July 23 had separate meetings with the Foreign Ministers of Denmark and Germany and the EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, on the sidelines of the 20th ASEAN-EU Ministerial Meeting in Brussels, Belgium.

During Minh’s meeting with Danish FM Martin Lidagaard, both sides agreed to actively implement the 2014-2015 Plan of Action in order to early realise the Vietnam-Denmark comprehensive partnership agreement which was signed during Vietnamese President Truong Tan Sang’s State visit to Denmark last September.

Considering Vietnam as one of the priority partners in the region, the Danish Government has been speeding up the implementation of its Growth Strategy for Vietnam which aims at supporting Danish businesses to invest in the Southeast Asian nation, Lidagaard said.

The Danish Foreign Minister proposed Vietnam to start negotiation on a free trade agreement (FTA) with Denmark and pledged to accelerate the FTA negotiation process between Vietnam and EU.

For his part, Deputy Prime Minister Minh expressed his thanks to Denmark for its official development assistance (ODA) for Vietnam , which, he said, is being used effectively in administrative reform, education and environment. Minh said Vietnam wanted to promote climate change, green growth and renewable energy cooperation with Denmark in the time to come.

Deputy Prime Minister Minh also met with German FM Frank Walter Steinmeier, during which both agreed that the two countries should make more efforts to fully tap their great potentials.

Frank Walter Steinmeier said he highly valued regular exchange visits made by high-level delegations of the two countries, affirming that the upcoming visit of Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung to Germany in October will help deepen the two countries’ strategic partnership, particularly in economics, trade and investment.

Both sides agreed to speed up the implementation of big cooperation projects in Vietnam including construction of underground line no 2 and establishment of Vietnam- Germany University in Ho Chi Minh City . The two foreign ministers pledged to coordinate closely with each other to hold activities celebrating the 40 th anniversary of bilateral diplomatic ties.

During Minh’s meeting with EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Catherine Ashton, the two sides discussed measures to ensure the successful organisation of the 20th ASEAN-EU Ministerial Meeting and enhance the ASEAN-EU relations in a more effective and practical manner.

Minh applauded Ashton’s upcoming visit to Vietnam next month, saying that the visit will create a momentum for the development of the bilateral ties in the time ahead.

He expressed his thanks to the European Commission and its members for granting 542 million EUR in ODA to Vietnam in 2014.

Ashton pledged to help Vietnam increase its capacity of combating pirates and ensuring maritime security and safety, and provide foreign language training for Vietnamese army officials who take part in international peacekeeping operations.-VNA