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NEWS UPDATES Asean Affairs    26 October 2012 

Vietnam-EU deal to open multiple areas of ties


Participants at a seminar in Hanoi this morning agreed that the signing of a partnership and cooperation agreement (PCA) between Vietnam and the European Union last June would open the door to a multitude of ties between the two sides.

Vietnamese Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Bui Thanh Son said that the agreement marked an important development.

"I believe the agreement will enhance relations between the two sides in future in all aspects of politics, economy and cooperation," Son said, adding that the PCA would boost cooperation in addressing global issues.

These included protecting international peace and security, counter terrorism, organised crime, money laundering and coping with climate change.

Head of the EU delegation to Vietnam, Franz Jessen, said that the new PCA demonstrated the commitment of the EU to forge an upgraded, broader and more mature partnership with Vietnam, a partner willing to take on increasing responsibilities on the world scene – and an active and central actor in Asean.

"I hope this agreement will soon be complemented by an ambitious EU-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement," he said. "The first round of negotiations were recently held in Hanoi."

Head of the Vietnamese Foreign Ministry's EU Affairs Department, Tran Ngoc An, said that in 2005, Vietnam was the first country in Southeast Asia to have a strategic plan for relations with the EU.

"The PCA, however, will have to go through a separate rectification process by the 27 EU member states and the European Parliament. The process can last for a couple of years," An said.

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This year in Thailand-what next?

AseanAffairs   04 January 2011
By David Swartzentruber      

It is commonplace in journalism to write two types of articles at the transition point between the year that has passed and the New Year. As this writer qualifies as an “old hand” in observing Thailand with a track record dating back 14 years, it is time take a shot at what may unfold in Thailand in 2011.

The first issue that can’t be answered is the health of Thailand’s beloved King Bhumibol, who is now 83 years old. He is the world's longest reigning monarch, but elaborate birthday celebrations in December failed to mask concern over his health. More






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