Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung received outgoing Ambassador and Head of the European Union Delegation to Vietnam Franz Jessen in Hanoi on July 8, saying his contributions to bilateral ties over the past four years have been highly appreciated.

He suggested accelerating the approval of the Vietnam-EU Framework Agreement on Comprehensive Partnership and Cooperation (PCA) and the EU-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement negotiations.

The host asked the EU to recognise Vietnam as a market economy and requested stronger cooperation across economics, trade, investment, tourism, development assistance and regional and global issues.

Vietnam’s exports to the EU grow an average of 15 percent each year, Jessen said, adding that the EU’s official development assistance commitments to Vietnam will increase by over 32 percent in the next seven years.

Both sides were convinced that the upcoming PCA approval and FTA signing would bolster economic and trade links.

On regional issues, Jessen said the EU is concerned about the East Sea issue and insists that disputes between parties concerned be addressed by peaceful means and on the basis of international law.

Meeting new Hungarian Ambassador to Vietnam Csaba Ory the same day, the PM asked for reinforced bilateral ties across economics, trade, investment and tourism while agreeing with his guest’s proposal to promote collaboration across culture, arts, television and people-to-people exchange for enhanced mutual understanding between the two peoples.

He also welcomed Hungary’s decision to double scholarships to 100 Vietnamese students and launch projects funded by Hungarian’s official development assistance (ODA), including the Can Tho tumour hospital, Red River water treatment and population management in Hai Phong, and asked relevant agencies to effectively carry them out.

For his part, Ory stated that Hungary not only considers Vietnam a traditional partner but also a strategic partner and said Hungary is ready to engage in projects funded by its ODA in Vietnam.

On the occasion, the guest announced Hungary’s decision to grant the Hungarian State Order to Vietnamese Professor Vu Khieu for his contributions to ties between the two countries.

He revealed that the Hungarian Prime Minister is seeking a suitable time for his visit to Vietnam.-VNA