The European Union (EU) will raise the amount of development assistance for Vietnam to 400 million EUR for the 2014-2020 period, according to Chief Operating Officer of the European External Action Service (EEAS) David O’Sullivan.

The figure is substantially more than the 298 million EUR sum provided from 2007-2013.

Meeting with Deputy Prime Minister Pham Binh Minh in Hanoi on March 26, Sullivan informed his host of the outcomes of the third Vietnam – EU deputy ministerial political consultation and the ninth meeting of the Vietnam – EU Joint Commission recently held in the capital.

He also reaffirmed the EU’s commitment to concluding the Free Trade Agreement (FTA) negotiations with Vietnam this year.

Deputy PM Minh, for his part, suggested that the EU ratify the comprehensive Partnership and Cooperation Agreement framework, and recognise Vietnam as a market economy before concluding the EU – Vietnam FTA talks by this October.-VNA