A delegation of the ASEAN Secretariat and Vietnam’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MoFA) is paying a working visit to the European Commission (EC) at the EC’s invitation.

The delegation, led by Director of MoFA’s ASEAN Department Nguyen Tien Minh, held talks with EC representatives in Brussels on November 25, during which they were briefed on the formation of the European Union (EU) and the EC, their organisational structures, operation, the European common market as well as the prospects of cooperation between the EU and ASEAN.

Talking to Vietnam News Agency’s correspondent in Brussels, Minh said experience learnt from EC’s development will be of much help in the formation of the ASEAN Community, which is slated to complete in late 2015.

As Vietnam is coordinating the ASEAN-EC relation, the visit will help Vietnam find effective measures to further boost the bilateral ties between the two groupings, he added.

The EU and ASE AN have enjoyed good relations with numerous cooperation programmes.

ASEAN is now the EU’s third largest trade partner, with two-way trade reaching 206 billion USD in 2011. Meanwhile, EU ranks only after China in trading with ASE AN, accounting for 11 percent of ASE AN’s foreign trade turnover.

From 2007 to present, the EU has provided 65.9 million EUR to ASEAN’s integration efforts, and pledged to increase the aid in the next five-year period.-VNA