EU relations crucial to Vietnam: PM

The European Union is a crucial partner, Prime Minister Phan Van Khai said after he received the visiting Commissioner for External Relations and European Neighbourhood Policy, Benita Ferrero-Waldner, in Hanoi on April 21.

Mr Khai briefed the delegation o­n the achievements the country has made after 20 years of doi moi (renovation).

The prime minister stressed that the EU has immensely assisted Vietnam's success.

The EU was among the first block to support the country's entrance into the World Trade Organisation.

Khai said the o­ngoing Vietnam 10th National Communist Party Congress affirmed the deepest intention to continue carrying out the renovation process. Currently, Vietnam is focusing o­n perfecting the market economy and building the law-governed state.

He said the Government was committed to executing the overall plan o­n Vietnam-EU relations and expected both sides would develop mutual benefits.

At the meeting, FerreroWaIdnerpraised Vietnam's socio-economic achievements, particularly in hunger eradication and poverty reduction.

She affirmed that the European Commission (EC) would continue assisting the country in the future.

After learning about Vietnam's renovation process and the implementation of the overall plan signed between both sides, Ferrero-Waldner said the EC would stand by Vietnam's side and support the country in perfecting its market economy.

Foreign Minister Nguyen Dy Nien also held talks with Ferrero-Waldner yesterday.

She affirmed the determination of the EC and the EU to build a long-standing partnership with Vietnam o­n the basis of mutual trust, peace, stability and prosperity in the 21st century.

She said the EU appreciated Vietnam, the first ASEAN country to approve the overall scheme for developing relations by 2010, saying it is an important framework to raise ties to a higher level.

During the talks, both sides exchanged measures to enhance relations and co-operation as well as some international and regional issues of mutual concern.