The European Union (EU) is proud of being a strategic partner of Vietnam in all fields from trade and investment to politics and culture.

Jean-Jacques Bouflet, Minister-Counsellor, Head of the Economic and Trade Committee of the EU Delegation to Vietnam , made this statement at a ceremony to launch “Blue Book 2011”, the EU’s annual report on Vietnam ’s economy in 2010-11, in Hanoi on May 26.

Vietnam and the EU saw an impressive increase in two-way trade in 2010 with the former’s exports to the EU reaching over 9 billion USD, up 37 percent compared with the previous year, he said.

Bouflet said that the EU remained Vietnam’s most important foreign market for such products as footwear, seafood, coffee and woodwork, with export turnovers of 1.75 billion EUR, 739.2 million EUR, 794.2 million EUR and 720.5 million EUR, respectively.

The EU was also the second-largest foreign market of Vietnam, and consumed nearly 20 percent of the country’s total exports volume last year, he said.

While praising Vietnam’s decisive actions to minimise negative impacts of the global economic crisis in 2009 and early 2010, the EU representative noted that the Vietnamese Government needed to implement business support policies to strengthen confidence and pursue trade liberalisation efforts towards sustainable development.

Blue Book 2011, a yearly publication by the European Commission, provided an overview of Vietnam’s economic situation in 2010 and the first quarter of 2011, and a special chapter on key economic sectors, including garment, footwear, seafood, agricultural products, pharmaceuticals, machinery, banking and finance, transport, technology and telecommunications, energy, environment, real estate and construction./.