Norway backs Vietnam-EU free trade deal

Vietnam and Norway have agreed to boost cooperation and work closely together to soon complete negotiations and sign the Vietnam-EU Free Trade Agreement (VEFTA).

The announcement came following a meeting between Vietnamese Deputy Foreign Minister Ho Xuan Son and Norwegian State Secretary Morten Høglundat the 7th annual political consultation in Norway on September 15-16.

The two sides briefed each other on the situation in their respective countries and discussed measures to strengthen bilateral relations on various fields.

They stressed the need to realise the results of the Vietnam visit by Crown Prince Haakon Magnus and Princess Mette Marit in March 2014, aimed at deepening the multifaceted cooperation between the two countries in the future.

Host and guest pledged to promote regular visit exchanges and make thorough preparations for the coming Vietnam visit by the Norwegian Minister of Foreign Affairs.

They voiced support for stronger Vietnam-Norway economic, trade and investment relations, and encouraged investors to run business in both countries, especially in maritime, shipbuilding, hydro-power generation, oil and gas exploration, aquaculture, information and communication technology.

The Norwegian side vowed to maintain its official development assistance (ODA) for Vietnam to help the country deal with climate change, protect forests, cope with natural disasters, and develop the education and training sector.

They shared views on regional and international issues of mutual concern, including security in the Asia-Pacific region, cooperation in climate change adaptation, UN reform, Millennium Development Goals (MDG) realisation, and peacekeeping.

The delegates voiced mutual coordination at multilateral and international forums, especially events within the framework of the UN, ASEAN, and Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM).

Deputy Foreign Minister Son took the occasion to congratulate Norway on its becoming an official partner of ASEAN. He showed strong support for the implementation of the joint statement on ASEAN-Norway Partnership signed in August 2014.

The Norwegian side reiterated its support for Vietnam in maintaining peace, stability, and maritime safety and security, as well as settling disputes in the East Sea through peaceful solutions in accordance with international law, particularly the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS).

Both sides agreed to conduct the next meeting in Vietnam in 2015.

Norway, EU