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EU Ambassador willing to help Vietnam access COVID-19 vaccine sources

Jasmine Le Jasmine Le

lehang1997hanu@gmail.com

June 02, 2021 | 09:01

Ambassador Giorgio Aliberti, head of the European Union Delegation to Vietnam, told President Nguyen Xuan Phuc on June 1 that he is willing to support Vietnam in accessing COVID-19 vaccine sources and vaccine technology transfer from Europe.

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EU Ambassador willing to help Vietnam access COVID-19 vaccine sources
President Nguyen Xuan Phuc (right) and Ambassador Giorgio Aliberti, head of the European Union Delegation to Vietnam (Photo: VNA)

The ambassador applauded Vietnam’s efforts in the pandemic fight and expressed his hope that the country will successfully complete its vaccine rollout.

During the reception for Aliberti, the President thanked the EU for its medical support through the COVAX Facility and Team Europe, and called on the EU to help Vietnam enhance its capacity for COVID-19 vaccination and production.

Phuc expressed his delight at the active development of the partnership and comprehensive cooperation between Vietnam and the EU over the past time.

The EU has become a leading important partner of Vietnam in many regards, the President said, adding that the two sides have signed a number of cooperation agreements in politics, trade, investment, and national defence and security such as the EU-Vietnam Partnership and Cooperation Agreement (PCA), the EU-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement, the Framework Participation Agreement (FPA) and the Voluntary Partnership Agreement on Forest Law Enforcement, Governance and Trade.

Such documents have created a firm foundation for the two sides to lift their relations to a new high, Phuc said.

Lauding Aliberti’s contributions to the Vietnam-EU ties, Phuc suggested the ambassador continue to urge the European Parliament (EP) to soon complete procedures to ratify the EU-Vietnam Investment Protection Agreement (EVIPA).

The ambassador, for his part, spoke highly of Vietnam’s non-permanent membership of the United Nations Security Council for 2020-2021.

EU Ambassador willing to help Vietnam access COVID-19 vaccine sources
(Photo: Tuoi Tre)

He thanked Vietnam for its support in upgrading the ASEAN-EU relationship to a strategic partnership, and noted his wish that the two sides will continue their cooperation within the framework, for the sake of ASEAN countries and the EU.

While discussing regional and international issues of shared concern, Aliberti emphasised the significance of international law, notably the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (1982 UNCLOS) to regional peace, stability, cooperation and development, VOV reported.

On this occasion, the ambassador handed over a congratulatory letter of European Commission (EC) President Ursula von der Leyen to President Nguyen Xuan Phuc.

Phuc asked the ambassador to convey his invitations to the EU’s high-ranking leaders to visit Vietnam.

Earlier on May 30, Phuc sent a letter to U.S. President Joe Biden, suggesting the two countries strengthen cooperation in Covid-19 vaccine research, production and technology transfer.

Phuc welcomed and thanked the U.S. for its pledge to provide US$4 billion to the Covid-19 Vaccines Global Access initiative (COVAX), saying that Vietnam has received around 2.5 million doses via this mechanism, VGP News reported.

Phuc also welcomed the U.S. Administration’s commitment to share an additional 80 million vaccine doses with the international community, expressing his wish that the U.S. will continue assisting Vietnam and other countries in accessing Covid-19 vaccine supply sources.

EU Ambassador willing to help Vietnam access COVID-19 vaccine sources
A health worker in HCMC Hospital for Tropical Diseases holds a dose of AstraZeneca vaccine in March 2021. (Photo: VNE)

Vietnam always attaches great importance to the comprehensive partnership with the U.S., and hopes that both sides will continue to further deepen the bilateral ties in a practical manner, thus bringing benefits to people of the two countries, and contributing to maintaining peace, stability, cooperation and development in the region and the world.

Earlier, in recent phone talks with leaders of other countries such as China, Russia and Japan, leaders of the Vietnamese Party, State and Government also asked for the countries’ assistance in accessing vaccine supplies and cooperation in studying and transferring Covid-19 vaccine production technology, the Vietnam News Agency (VNA) reported on May 30.

Vietnam, which currently uses the vaccine produced by British-Swedish firm AstraZeneca for its immunization program, has received nearly 2.9 million doses, 464,000 through commercial contracts and the rest through Covax, and vaccinated over a million of its 96-million population, according to VnExpress.

The ministry has struck commercial deals for 30 million doses and will get 38.9 million doses through Covax.

It has registered to buy another 10 million doses through Covax under a cost-sharing scheme to benefit from lower prices.

Besides, it has inked a deal to buy 31 million doses of Pfizer’s vaccine this year.

Four vaccines are under development in the country by Nanogen Pharmaceutical Biotechnology JSC, the Institute of Vaccines and Medical Biologicals, Vaccine and Biological Production Company No. 1, and Polyvac.

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Jasmine Le