The European Union has shown its continued support for Vietnam’s global economic integration with the launch of the European Trade Policy and Investment Support Project in Hanoi on December 11. The project, worth $19.5 million, will be implemented over five years, aiming to help the country integrate into the global, Asean and sub-regional trading systems and strengthen trade and investment relations between the EU and Vietnam.
The project is the continuation of the Multilateral Trade Policy Assistance Projects which started 1998 and supported Vietnam when the nation transitioned to a market economy and began to participate in the WTO. Director of the Department of Asia and Pacific Market cum Project director Bui Huy Son said the project is in line with Vietnam’s integration process, and should be viewed in the context of the recently signed EU-Vietnam Partnership and Cooperation Agreement and the recent negotiations of the Vietnam-EU free trade agreement. The main purpose of the project is to support Vietnam in facilitating sustainable international trade and investment through improving the capacity of the Ministry of Industry and Trade and relevant agencies for policy making, policy consultation, negotiation and implementation of related commitments, particularly with the EU, said Claudio Dordi, head of the project’s consultant group. The project will also help enterprises penetrate the EU market and attract more high-tech investment into Vietnam. The EU is among the major export markets of Vietnam, with a population of more than 500 million and high demand for Vietnamese products such as garments and textiles, footwear, seafood and wood products. During the past 11 months of this year, Vietnam’s exports to the EU reached $18 billion, 21.3 percent higher than the same period last year. Bilateral trade for the 11-month period hit $26 billion, $2 billion higher than all of 2011.