Round Table Conference on the EU – Vietnam Free Trade Agreement

Monday, 02 April 2018 13:05

It`s an honour to me as Rector of UNWE to accept the invitation by the Ambassador of the SR of Vietnam H. E. Mrs. Nguyen Thi Hong Oanh to organize a Round Table Conference related to the forthcoming signing of the EU – Vietnam Free Trade Agreement because our university has educated Vietnamese students for decades. It led to the establishment of strong and lasted friendly relations between Bulgaria and Vietnam. The present Vice President of Vietnam as well as the Chairperson of the National Assembly of the country who is also former Vice Prime Minister have graduated from the UNWE. These were the words the Rector Prof. D.Sc.(Econ.) Statty Stattev opened the Round Table Conference.

Lachezar Borisov, Deputy Minister of Economy, Mrs. Margarita Popova, Vice President and General Secretary of the Bulgarian Industrial Association (BIA), Prof. D.Sc.(Econ.) Statty Stattev, Rector of UNWE, H. E. Mrs. Nguyen Thi Hong Oanh, Ambassador of the SR of Vietnam to the Republic of Bulgaria, Assoc. Prof. Dr. Plamen Oresharsky, Assoc. Prof. Dr. Milanka Slavova, Vice Rector for Education in the EQD of Bachelor and Lifelong Learning, Prof. D.Sc.(Econ.) Dimitar Hadzhinikolov, President of the Bulgarian European Studies Association (from the right to the left)

The participants in the Round Table Conference are not occasionally selected. Assoc. Prof. Plamen Oresharsky was a Prime Minister when several agreements between both countries were signed. Margarita Popova is also a great friend of Vietnam. A number of topics about the relations between Bulgaria – Vietnam are discussed with Lachezar Borisov, said Prof. Stattev.

H. E. Mrs. Nguyen Thi Hong Oanh spoke about the actual political and economic situation in Vietnam. The GDP of the country for 2017 is 220 billion dollars which is a growth of 6.81% compared to the previous year. For the last year 22 000 projects on the amount of 300 billion dollars have been implemented. Bulgaria has presented 10 projects on investment in Vietnam on the amount of 61 billion dollars. The growth of imported goods in Bulgaria is 21% as for the EU are exported coffee, mobile devices, textile, shoes, etc., declared the Ambassador.

The Commercial Advisor at the Embassy of Vietnam Nguyen Thái Hoà said that his country had insisted for setting out in the EU – Vietnam Agreement the dropping out of import duties for 85.6% of goods and 7 years after the Agreement had come into force to be dropped out the import duties for 99.25 of goods. Vietnam relies on the Bulgarian support about it, declared the Commercial Advisor.

The Deputy Minister Lachezar Borisov expressed his contentment that the EU – Vietnam Free Trade Agreement is discussed during the Bulgarian Presidency of the Council of the EU. According to him an economic progress is observed in a global plan and a tendency of e-trade development removing many obstacles is marked.

Mr. Lachezar Borisov

The contacts between Bulgarian and Vietnamese established over the years should be used in the most appropriate way because the Vietnamese students in our country are potential future politicians, pointed Margarita Popova.

Assoc. Prof. Plamen Oresharsky declared that the old friendships had brought an added value. Vietnam occupies a special place because of its dynamic development as a country and market with a huge potential but the Bulgarian investment are still not enough, commented Assoc. Prof. Oreshrsky.

Prof. Dimitar Hadzhinikolov outlined that 27% of the EU export had been to the ASEAN countries. Vietnam is the second country after China that has a positive balance but it should be competitive at the European markets. He reminded that Vietnam had already had a Generalized Preferential System with the EU providing for good access of many important goods to the European market but only temporarily.

Vietnam occupies the 20th place as a leading importer in our country and it is a modest share, said Assoc. Prof. Dr. Paskal Zhelev, Secretary General for International Cooperation. He made a detailed review of the external trade relations between Bulgaria and Vietnam over the years.


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