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Vietnam | Brussels, 12 May 2015

EU-Vietnam: Policymakers and stakeholders discuss trade, development and human rights

EU Trade Commissioner Cecilia Malmström, the Chairman of the European Parliament Committee on International Trade (INTA) Bernd Lange, and the Vice-chairman of the Sub-committee on Human Rights (DROI) Barbara Lochbihler today met over one hundred stakeholders working in the environment, labour and human rights fields to discuss future EU-Vietnam relations, and the trade agreement between the EU and Vietnam currently under negotiation. Throughout the day, participants focused on how EU-Vietnam relations can result in improved environment, labour and human rights protection.

Opening the event, Commissioner Malmström said in her speech: "We need people like environmental campaigners, trade unions, human rights advocates and companies to be closely involved in this process. Throughout our dialogues with Vietnam, we need your input and ideas on how to make our cooperation on human rights and sustainable development stronger and more effective. We need to develop solutions together, and to monitor their effective implementation together as well.”

Commissioner Malmström added: “Throughout the free trade agreement negotiations so far we have sought your input to guide us in the process. We renew this engagement today. We will carefully consider all the recommendations and advice you will bring us today. And once the agreement is in force we will continue to seek your active involvement in the implementation, monitoring what's happening on the ground and making sure we take the right decisions to address problems. If we do all of those things, the EU-Vietnam agreement can be a landmark deal for people on both sides."

Read the full speech