On 17 June 2022, EIAS welcomed a delegation from the Diplomatic Academy of Vietnam to discuss strategies for the EU to cooperate with Vietnam in the Indo-Pacific. Both parties emphasized the need for continued dialogue and rules-based negotiations in the midst of geopolitical tensions. The delegation underlined the importance of reinforcing and increasing EU engagement in the region through the EU-Vietnam and EU-ASEAN partnership towards common goals in preserving multilateralism, the rule of law, trade and security.
Specifically, the delegation outlined opportunities for collaboration in trade, security and the environment. First, acknowledging the current strain on global supply chains due to the war in Ukraine, the delegation considered the resulting challenges for food security and energy provisions. The discussion also encouraged further support for the EU-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement (FTA) which, due to its entry into force during the COVID-19 pandemic, has not yet realized its full potential. Second, the delegation recalled the rising geopolitical tensions in the ASEAN region and Indo-Pacific, and the threats they pose to global supply chains, pointing out the increased need for EU maritime security cooperation to protect maritime trade routes. Strategically positioned in the Mekong region, which is pivotal to ASEAN identity and integration, Vietnam is a well positioned partner to the EU. Thirdly, the parties exchanged ideas on how the EU can support green transition, and digitalisation among ASEAN nations. Going forward, both partners are committed to further dialogue on cooperation and to strengthen EU-Vietnam and EU-ASEAN relations.