A high-ranking delegation of the Vietnamese National Assembly (NA) led by its Chairman Nguyen Sinh Hung attended the ninth Vietnam NA-European Parliament (EP) inter-parliamentary meeting in Brussels on Dec. 5.

Addressing the opening ceremony, NA Chairman Hung emphasised the need to enhance relations between the Vietnamese NA and EP in the near future.

Hung said that Vietnam has pursued a foreign policy of independence, self-reliance, peace, cooperation, development, multilateralisation and diversification of relations over the past 25 years of renewal process, helping the country integrate into the world and become a friend, trustworthy partner and responsible member of the global community.

At the event, Vietnamese Finance Minister Vuong Dinh Hue delivered a speech, saying the promotion of Vietnam – EU economic cooperation brings a lot of opportunities for both sides.

Hue added that Vietnam considers the implementation of a free trade agreement with EU as one of important facets of its trade policy and a move to realise goals of developing bilateral cooperative relations.

Apart from discussing Vietnam ’s financial policy to curb inflation, reduce public investment, limit the imports of luxury goods and public debt issues, Hue added that the step-up of restructuring in public investment, finance and banking, and State-owned economic groups will facilitate the implementation of cooperative economic agreements with the EU in the near future.

He also suggested the EU make specific and practical commitments with ASEAN and Vietnam in particular.

Head of the European Parliament delegation, Werner Langen said he hopes Vietnam will soon become a strategic partner of the EU. He also proposed both sides speed up the implementation of the Vietnam-EU cooperative agreement.

EP parliamentarians pledged to support the development of relations with Vietnam, assist Vietnam in poverty reduction and coping with climate change as well as support the negotiations of a free trade agreement to further uphold each side’s potential.

The same day, at a meeting with EP President Jerky Buzek, Hung affirmed that Vietnam wants to further promote mutual understanding and comprehensive cooperation between Vietnam and the EU, and between Vietnamese and European lawmakers in particular.

Hung underlined that Vietnam always considers EU as a leading priority partner in its foreign policy. He affirmed Vietnam’s consistent policy of building equal partnership, comprehensive and long-term cooperation with the EU, for peace and development in the region and the world.

The Vietnamese NA Chairman said he hopes the EP will contribute to developing Vietnam – EU relations in the near future.

Vietnam is willing to work closely with the EU within the framework of ASEAN – EU and in dealing with global issues such as climate change, sustainable development, non-proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, immigration and energy, Hung said.

Buzek agreed to further promote the exchange of delegations and the two sides’ lawmakers, to strengthen and enhance the Vietnamese NA – EP friendship and cooperation.

Earlier the same day, Jean-Charles Luperto, President of the Parliament of French-speaking Community hosted a reception for NA Chairman Hung and the Vietnamese delegation./.