EU pledges continued support for Vietnam

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The European Union has reaffirmed its commitment to support Vietnam's economic and social development plan and its reform process as both sides look forward to a new phase in bilateral relations.

The assistance will continue focusing on poverty alleviation, reform efforts in the health and justice sector as well as trade-related issues, according to an official statement issued by the Delegation of the EU to Vietnam.

"Economic and commercial ties between the EU and Vietnam have continued to develop at a significant pace," the statement said. "Vietnam's rapid integration in the world trading system, coupled with continued market opening on both sides, have led to a 50 percent increase in bilateral trade over the past five years."

During a meeting in Brussels this week, officials on both sides discussed ways to enhance the relationship further by eliminating trade and investment obstacles. They also explored the prospect of starting negotiations on a free trade agreement.

The officials also confirmed their commitment to facilitate the signing of a new Partnership and Co-operation Agreement, which is expected to help diversify dialogue and cooperation between the EU and Vietnam and bring the partnership to its full potential, the EU Delegation said in its statement.

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