The European Union (EU) is the top partner in Vietnam’s foreign policy, stated Vuong Thua Phong, Ambassador to Belgium and head of the Vietnamese Delegation to the EU.

Vietnam-EU partnership, which celebrates its 25th anniversary in 2015, has grown remarkably across the board, especially after the Partnership and Cooperation Agreement signed, he noted.

Visits have been maintained at all levels, while partnership has been expanded beyond security, politics, education, and culture to environmental protection and climate change response, said the diplomat.

Vietnam has so far set up strategic partnership with five EU member states, namely the UK, France, Germany, Italy and Spain, and partnered with others in various fields.

The EU-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA), which is expected to be signed soon, will open up a new chapter of development in bilateral ties, Phong said confidently.

He highlighted that the EU is currently the leading export market of Vietnam with two-way trade hitting over 35 billion USD in 2014.

Of the 28-member EU, 23 countries have pumped a total of 18 billion USD in investment in Vietnam .

The union is the largest ODA provider of Vietnam , pledging to raise the amount for 2014-20 by 30 percent to 400 million EUR, said the diplomat.

He revealed that in celebration of the 25th anniversary, the two sides have agreed to increase visit exchanges and jointly organise conferences and cultural activities.

The Vietnamese Delegation to the EU will introduce the EU-Vietnam Friendship Parliamentarian Group at the European Parliament, and organise a signing ceremony for the EVFTA, expectedly in the first half of 2015.

Regarding the Vietnamese community in Belgium, the ambassador said the community has been active in integrating into the host society, while acting as a bridge between Vietnam and Belgium.-VNA