European Parliament delegation visit VN
17:48 | 07/01/2019

VGP – Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development in Ha Noi on January 7 had a bilateral meeting with the European Parliament (EP).

An overview of working session between Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Nguyen Xuan Cuong and Vice President of the European Parliament Heidi Hautala

 At the event, Vice President of the European Parliament (EP) Heidi Hautala said that EU consumers are paying greater attention to the origin of products. Therefore, the responsibility and role of the private enterprises are becoming more and more important.

The VPA/FLEGT with Viet Nam is the second agreement the EU has signed in Asia, following a pact with Indonesia, she stated, adding that this is an important step by the EU towards building a broader strategy to intensify biodiversity and sustainable development in Asia, as well as fighting illegal timber exploitation and trading.

She said that the agreement will encourage transparency and have pervasive effects on the production chain with the EU and nations around the world as the EU has signed similar agreements with 16 other countries.

The EU is working to soon ratify the agreement with Viet Nam, she added.

Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Nguyen Xuan Cuong spoke highly of the cooperation developments between Viet Nam and the EU, particularly in terms of investment.

He said that after the EU made the nine recommendations, Viet Nam was quick to complete its national institutions and laws, including the new Law on Fisheries, which has put the nine recommendations into a solid legal framework.

Viet Nam has also paid attention to forestry development. Currently, the country has 14 million hectares of forests, with forest coverage reaching 41.65% – a high rate both regionally and globally.

The country is building up its forestry economy with the participation of some 4,500 relevant enterprises. Last year, the sector enjoyed an export turnover of over US$9 billion, he stated.

In the field of sustainable development, the EU is considered Viet Nam’s top development partner with the two main pillars of maritime economy and forest development.

In 2017, the EU issued a “yellow card” warning for Viet Nam for illegal, unreported, and unregulated (IUU) fishing; along with nine recommendations to help the country develop more sustainable fisheries.

The signing of the Voluntary Partnership Agreement on Forest Law Enforcement, Governance, and Trade (VPA/FLEGT) between Viet Nam and the EU offers a chance for the Southeast Asian nation to restructure the sector towards a transparent production chain, from materials to processing and trading, he stressed.

By Hoang Ha

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