Prime Minister of Vietnam to meet Swedish counterpart at EU – ASEAN summit

From December 09 – 15th, 2022, Vietnamese Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh will attend the 45th anniversary of the EU – ASEAN relations in Brussels, Belgium and pay official visits to some European countries. He is also expected to meet the Swedish Prime Minister on the sidelines of the summit.

Earlier, according to the announcement of the Council of the European Union, the EU and ASEAN will co-organize a summit on December 14th to discuss the expansion of trade and the development of infrastructure when the EU sought to strengthen relations with Asia. The summit is expected to be attended by the heads of state and senior officials from EU and ASEAN members.

This year marks the 45th anniversary of the European Economic Community, the EU’s predecessor, establishing official relations with ASEAN. This year’s event took place in the context of geopolitical tensions in Europe impacted by the Russian – Ukrainian war. For these reasons, ASEAN has a greater significance for Europe on economic, diplomatic and security fronts. In December 2020, the EU and ASEAN upgraded bilateral relations to a “strategic partnership”.

The EU and ASEAN want to develop the supply chain at this December meeting. The pandemic has stagnated the import of medical products and automobile components for the European bloc, this bloc is expected to provide economic cooperation agreements and infrastructure aid to Southeast Asian countries. Europe will encourage Southeast Asia to implement the main role in the supply chain for the West.

The EU is considering a free trade agreement with the whole ASEAN while focusing on separate bilateral trade agreements. This bloc currently has free trade agreements with Singapore and Vietnam and is seeking to accelerate similar negotiations with other ASEAN members, including Indonesia, the Philippines, Malaysia, and Thailand.

As one of the two ASEAN countries currently having a free trade agreement with the EU, Vietnam is expected to emphasize its outstanding role in meetings with EU partners to assert its ambitions to become a more important link in the global supply chain, while attracting European investment sources for the country’s “green transformation” and “digital transformation” strategies. In addition, Vietnam will also mobilize the EU to soon approve the EU – Vietnam Investment Protection Agreement (EVIPA) and remove the illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing (IUU) “yellow card” that had been placed on this country.

On the sidelines of the summit in Belgium, Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh also plans to meet with Sweden’s Prime Minister Ulf Kristersson, the country is expected to undertake the position of European Union Council in the first 6 months of 2023 to discuss the ability to enhance relations between the two countries in the fields of politics, economy, culture, science, education… in the coming time, especially on the occasion of the 55th anniversary of establishing diplomatic relations between the two nations (1969 – 2024).

In addition to attending the summit, the Prime Minister of Vietnam will also pay official visits to Luxembourg, the Netherlands and Belgium to promote bilateral relations between Vietnam and these countries.

Source: The World and Vietnam Report.

About Viet Nguyen

Viet Nguyen is a writer for ScandAsia specialized in Nordic-Vietnamese bilateral affairs.

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