President of the European Commission (EC) José Manuel Durão Barroso was conferred with an honorary doctorate degree by the Hanoi-based National Economics University (NEU) on August 25.

The degree is to recognise his outstanding achievements in diplomatic, economic, cultural, educational, and social activities, as well as his contributions to the cooperation between the European Union (EU) and Vietnam, said NEU President Pham Manh Hung, who is also Deputy Minister of Education and Training.

During Barroso’s tenure since 2007, economic and political relations between Vietnam and the EU have been lifted to a new height. The EU has become the biggest non-refundable assistance provider for Vietnam as well as the largest foreign investor in the Southeast Asian country and its second largest trade partner.

Barroso also played a major role in the starting up of negotiations on the Framework Agreement on Comprehensive Partnership and Cooperation and a free trade agreement between the EU and Vietnam, which are expected to help bilateral ties develop in a comprehensive and effective manner in the time ahead.

For his part, the EC President said he feels honoured to receive the degree from the NEU, one of the leading universities in Vietnam. He spoke highly of the school’s far-sighted vision in expanding international cooperation in training and scientific research.

He added that by making use of its educational partnership with countries around the world, Vietnam, with its young and dynamic workforce, will develop high-quality manpower to meet the demand in the globalisation process.-VNA