Relations between the EU and Viet Nam during the last 25 years

Throughout 2015, the European Union (EU) and Vietnam are celebrating the 25th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations. This commemorative year will be full of remarkable and fruitful activities for both sides to mark this special milestone in our friendship.

On October 22nd 1990, the then European Community (EC) and Vietnam established diplomatic relations, laying a solid foundation for a long-lasting and all-rounded partnership. This was subsequently followed by the opening of a diplomatic
representation of the EC in Vietnam and Vietnamese embassy to Belgium and Luxembourg in Brussels in January 1996.

“The EU-Vietnam bilateral relationship has gone from strength to strength over the past 25 years. Today is an occasion for us to take a look back at what we have achieved. Indeed, our bilateral ties have developed robustly from an initial focus on aid to a broader and more diversified partnership, including political dialogue and strong economic links. I am delighted to say that the relationship between the EU and Vietnam has never been so close and good, creating every day new cooperation opportunities in all possible fields for both sides”, said Dr Franz Jessen, Ambassador – Head of EU Delegation to Vietnam.

Over more than two decades, Vietnam has experienced impressive economic growth and significant social changes, emerging from a long period of conflict to become a middle-income country and an important player within ASEAN. The EU has always accompanied Vietnam on this journey, strengthening and deepening bilateral ties, with the signature of the Framework Cooperation Agreement in 1995, and the Framework Agreement on Comprehensive Partnership and Cooperation (PCA) in 2012. In 2015, twenty of the European Union’s twenty-eight member states have diplomatic missions in Hanoi, reflecting Vietnam’s political importance in the Southeast Asian region.

“The celebration will culminate with the conclusion of the negotiations of a comprehensive and ambitious bilateral Free Trade Agreement (FTA), an important milestone in the commercial, economic and investment links between Vietnam and the European Union”, added Ambassador Jessen, while stressing that the EU has become one of Vietnam’s largest trading partners and investors.

The EU has reaffirmed its commitment to support the transition of Vietnam in many ways and is a pivotal source of foreign investment, knowledge and technical expertise for Vietnam. In this spirit, the EU will continue to provide support to the achievement of Vietnam’s Socio-Economic Development Strategy. The substantial increase of the level of non-reimbursable aid by the EU from about 300 to up to 400 million euros for 2014-2020, is a clear witness thereof, despite the austerity context in Europe. To date, the EU together with Member States is the largest grant donor of Vietnam.

Dr Franz Jessen,
Ambassador – Head of the EU Delegation to Vietnam

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