As a coordinator of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), Vietnam has contributed positively to the relationship between the bloc and the European Union, Ambassador Franz Jessen, Head of the Delegation of the EU to Vietnam, said on October 7.

Jessen spoke to the media about the 10th Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM 10), which will be held in Milan, Italy from October 15-17.

He said he hoped the meeting would help boost European investment in Asia, especially in Vietnam.

In addition to the event’s main agenda, a number of bilateral meetings will take place between participating leaders, the diplomat said, adding that ASEM 10 would bring together 41 State and Government leaders from the two regions.

At this year’s summit, discussions will focus on linkages between the two regions to boost trade and develop tourism, he added.

According to the ambassador, since ASEM 5 was held in Vietnam in 2004, bilateral trade between Vietnam and the EU has grown significantly, reaching an average of 33 billion USD per year. The two sides have seen a two-digit increase in trade over the past three years.

Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung will lead a delegation to participate in ASEM 10.

Prior to the meeting in Milan, the PM will visit Brussels, Belgium from October 13-14, where he is scheduled to meet leaders of the European Council, the European Commission and the European Parliament to discuss issues relating to economic ties and a free trade agreement between Vietnam and the EU.-VNA