| | | Spokesperson for Viá»t Namâs Ministry of Foreign Affairs LÃª Thá» Thu Háº±ng during October 25 press briefing in HÃ Ná»i. â VNA/VNS Photo LÃ¢m KhÃ¡nh |
HÃ Ná»I â Viá»t Nam and the European Union (EU) will continue efforts to complete procedures to officially sign, ratify and enforce the EU-Viá»t Nam Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA), said the Foreign Ministryâs spokesperson LÃª Thá» Thu Háº±ng.
Háº±ng made the remarks at a ministry press conference in HÃ Ná»i yesterday.
The European Commission (EC) on October 17 agreed to submit the EVFTA to the European Council to seek its approval for the official signing of the deal, she said.
This was an important step, demonstrating the resolve of both sides to push ahead with the agreement, contributing to their co-operation, Háº±ng said, adding that the move also signalled their support for free trade and an open multilateral trade system.
The EVFTA is a new-generation trade agreement between Viá»t Nam and 28 EU member countries. Negotiations for the deal concluded on December 1, 2015.
By the end of August 2018, 24 of the 28 EU countries had invested in Viá»t Nam, with 2,141 valid projects worth some US$24.17 billion. The EU ranks fifth among foreign investors in Viá»t Nam, after the Republic of Korea, Taiwan (China), Japan and Singapore.
Among EU investors, the Netherlands leads with 318 projects valued at US$9.16 billion, followed by France with 527 projects worth $3.63 billion.
Háº±ng said Viá»t Nam always kept a close watch on developments in the East Sea (internationally known as the South China Sea) and will verify the information that Taiwan (China) is preparing for a live-fire drill on Ba BÃ¬nh (Itu Aba) Island, which is part of the TrÆ°á»ng Sa (Spratly) archipelago.
The foreign ministry spokesperson reiterated that Viá»t Nam had sufficient legal basis and historical evidence for its sovereignty claims over the HoÃ ng Sa (Paracel) and TrÆ°á»ng Sa archipelagoes, in line with international law.
Spokesperson Háº±ng stressed that any activity conducted by any party on these two archipelagoes without the approval of Viá»t Nam would constitute a violation of the countryâs sovereignty and a serious threat to security and order of the East Sea.
Responding to queries on Viá»t Namâs participation in the ongoing China-ASEAN naval exercise, which entailed the countryâs sending naval frigate 015 Tráº§n HÆ°ng Äáº¡o to China, Háº±ng said this was an activity held to foster understanding and exchange of experience, as well as promote capacity building between ASEAN countries and China.
The foreign ministry spokesperson said in the recent visit to Viá»t Nam by US Defence Secretary James Mattis, the two sides reaffirmed efforts to step up defence co-operation, especially in maritime security, humanitarian aid, disaster relief and peacekeeping activities.
The visit aimed to promote the development of the two countriesâ relations in line with the framework of the comprehensiveÂ partnership, contributing to peace, stability, security, co-operation and development in the region.
Háº±ng also welcomed the USâs continued commitments to remediate Agent Orange contamination in the country, especially in BiÃªn HÃ²a air base in the southern province of Äá»ng Nai, as part of its efforts to address war consequences. â VNS