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Cablegate: Vietnam and the European Union

This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.


2002HANOI02209 - UNCLASSIFIED

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E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PREL ETRD SOCI EAID ECON XG XH VM HUMANR
SUBJECT: VIETNAM AND THE EUROPEAN UNION

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1. (U) SUMMARY. THE EUROPEAN UNION (EU) IS ONE OF
VIETNAM'S KEY DONORS AND AN IMPORTANT POLITICAL AND ECONOMIC
PARTNER. HUMAN RIGHTS IS AT THE TOP OF THE EU'S POLITICAL
AGENDA, WHILE VIETNAM IS FOCUSED MORE ON INCREASING EXPORTS
TO EU MEMBERS AND ENCOURAGING MORE INVESTMENT AND AID FROM
THE EU AND ITS INDIVIDUAL MEMBERS. THE GVN PROFESSES TO
WELCOME EU ENLARGEMENT, NOTING ITS TRADITIONAL TIES WITH
THOSE FORMERLY COMMUNIST EAST EUROPEAN NATIONS. END
SUMMARY.

-----------------------
VIETNAM LOOKING OUTWARD
-----------------------

2. (U) IN ACCORDANCE WITH A POLICY ADOPTED IN 1991 AT THE
SEVENTH PARTY CONGRESS, VIETNAM HAS MOVED STEADILY TO ADOPT
A MORE OUTWARD-LOOKING FOREIGN POLICY. AS FOREIGN MINISTER
NGUYEN DY NIEN REAFFIRMED IN A JANUARY 11 SPEECH, "VIETNAM
IS PREPARED TO BE A FRIEND AND RELIABLE PARTNER OF ALL
COUNTRIES IN THE INTERNATIONAL COMMUNITY." MORE
SPECIFICALLY, NIEN TOLD HIS DANISH COUNTERPART ON JUNE 3
THAT "VIETNAM CONSIDERS THE EU AS AN IMPORTANT PARTNER."
PRIME MINISTER PHAM VAN KHAI TOLD SPAIN'S AMBASSADOR TO
VIETNAM ON MAY 2 THAT, "VIETNAM REGARDS RELATIONS WITH THE
EU AS VITALLY IMPORTANT," ACCORDING TO PRESS REPORTS.

3. (U) SIX MONTHS PRIOR TO THE SEVENTH PARTY CONGRESS, IN
NOVEMBER 1990, THE EU AND VIETNAM HAD NORMALIZED DIPLOMATIC
RELATIONS. THE INITIAL FOCUS OF COOPERATION WAS ON SUPPORT
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PAGE 03 HANOI 02209 01 OF 04 100948Z
FOR THE RETURN AND REINTEGRATION OF VIETNAM WAR REFUGEES.
BETWEEN 1989 AND 1996, THE EU PROVIDED ALMOST USD 106.5
MILLION FOR THIS PROGRAM. IN DECEMBER 1992, THE EUROPEAN
COMMISSION (EC) AND VIETNAM SIGNED A TEXTILE AND CLOTHING
AGREEMENT, SUBSEQUENTLY RENEWED IN NOVEMBER 1997 AND OCTOBER
2000, TO ALLOW INCREASED ACCESS TO THE EU MARKET FOR
VIETNAMESE PRODUCTS. IN ADDITION, VIETNAM AND THE EU SIGNED
A FRAMEWORK COOPERATION AGREEMENT IN JULY 1995, WHICH
PROVIDED BOTH FOR HUMAN RIGHTS DIALOGUES AS WELL AS MOST
FAVORED NATION STATUS FOR VIETNAM'S EXPORTS. VIETNAM
FORMALLY ACCEDED TO THE EC-ASEAN COOPERATION AGREEMENT ON
MAY 1, 1999.

------------------------------------
"IMPORTANT" RELATIONSHIP FOR VIETNAM
------------------------------------

4. (U) ELEVEN OF 15 EU MEMBER STATES HAVE EMBASSIES IN
VIETNAM: AUSTRIA, BELGIUM, DENMARK, FINLAND, FRANCE,
GERMANY, ITALY, THE NETHERLANDS, SPAIN, SWEDEN, AND THE
UNITED KINGDOM. DR. BUI HUY KHOAT, DIRECTOR OF THE
INSTITUTE OF EUROPEAN STUDIES OF THE NATIONAL CENTRE FOR
SOCIAL SCIENCES AND HUMANITIES, DESCRIBED THE RELATIONSHIP
WITH THE EU IS "ONE OF THE MOST IMPORTANT" FOR VIETNAM. HE
OPINED THAT, AS ECONOMIC RELATIONS HAVE GROWN, THIS HAS ALSO
LED TO A STRONGER POLITICAL RELATIONSHIP WITH THE EU IN
GENERAL AND INDIVIDUAL MEMBER STATES. DR. KHOAT NOTED THAT
ONE WELCOME DEVELOPMENT MORE RECENTLY WAS THE EU'S
DESIGNATION OF VIETNAM AS AN "EMERGING MARKET ECONOMY" AND
NEW EU LEGISLATION TO ALLOW VIETNAM BETTER MARKET ACCESS.

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PAGE 04 HANOI 02209 01 OF 04 100948Z
5. (U) SUPPORTED BY THE EU, A "EUROPEAN STUDIES PROGRAM--
VIETNAM" PROJECT BEGAN OPERATION LOCALLY IN MAY 2002 IN
COOPERATION WITH THE INSTITUTE OF EUROPEAN STUDIES. STEFAN
HELL, HEAD OF PROJECT IMPLEMENTATION, SAID PROJECT GOALS
INCLUDE ENHANCING KNOWLEDGE AND AWARENESS OF THE EU AND
PROMOTING EUROPEAN STUDIES IN VIETNAM. THE PROJECT WILL
ALSO SUPPORT EXCHANGES OF VIETNAMESE AND EUROPEAN ACADEMICS
IN HOPES OF PROVIDING THE VIETNAMESE A BROADER EXPOSURE TO
EUROPE, HELL ADDED.

-------------------
THE POLITICAL FRONT
-------------------

6. (SBU) THE EU-VIETNAM POLITICAL RELATIONSHIP HAS
ADVANCED STEADILY, ACCORDING TO NGUYEN VIET ANH, SENIOR
EXPERT IN THE MINISTRY OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS' (MFA) EUROPE II
DIVISION. THERE ARE REGULAR HIGH-LEVEL VISITS AND
EXCHANGES. SHE POINTED SPECIFICALLY TO PRIME MINISTER PHAN
VAN KHAI'S "SUCCESSFUL" 2001 TRIP TO GERMANY, THE
NETHERLANDS, AND SPAIN. IN SEPTEMBER 2002, KHAI IS
SCHEDULED TO TRAVEL TO BRUSSELS TO MEET ROMANO PRADI, THE EU
PRESIDENT. IN ADDITION, VIETNAM HAS "VERY GOOD" POLITICAL
RELATIONS WITH THE INDIVIDUAL MEMBER STATES, ANH NOTED.
MAURICIO CALDARONE, COUNSELOR OF THE DELEGATION OF THE
EUROPEAN COMMISSION TO VIETNAM, DESCRIBED THE POLITICAL

UNCLASSIFIED

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INFO LOG-00 NP-00 AID-00 ACQ-00 CEA-01 CIAE-00 COME-00
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EB-00 ED-01 EXME-00 EUR-00 E-00 FAAE-00 FBIE-00
UTED-00 VC-00 FRB-00 HHS-01 H-01 TEDE-00 INR-00
ITC-01 L-00 VCE-00 MOFM-05 MOF-01 AC-01 NSAE-00
NSCE-00 OES-01 OMB-01 OPIC-01 PA-00 PM-00 PRS-00
ACE-00 P-00 SP-00 SSO-00 STR-00 TEST-00 TRSE-00
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SAS-00 /017W
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FM AMEMBASSY HANOI
TO SECSTATE WASHDC 7518
INFO AMCONSUL HO CHI MINH CITY
ALL EUROPEAN UNION POST COLLECTIVE
USEU BRUSSELS
AMEMBASSY PHNOM PENH
AMEMBASSY VIENTIANE
SECDEF WASHDC//ISA/ACHAO//
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SUBJECT: VIETNAM AND THE EUROPEAN UNION

RELATIONSHIP AS "STRONG AND GETTING STRONGER." AT THE
INSTITUTE OF INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS (IIR) (ROUGHLY
EQUIVALENT TO THE DEPARTMENT'S NFTAC), SENIOR RESEARCHER
PHAN NGHO UYEN CALLED VIETNAM'S RELATIONS WITH THE EU AND
WITH THE INDIVIDUAL MEMBER STATES "VERY GOOD," WHILE
ADMITTING THEY WERE "PERHAPS NOT AS DEVELOPED AS THE
ECONOMIC RELATIONS."

------------------
HUMAN RIGHTS FOCUS
------------------

7. (U) DESPITE THE GENERALLY POSITIVE TREND IN THE EU-
VIETNAM RELATIONSHIP, HUMAN RIGHTS REMAIN A KEY ISSUE OF
CONCERN TO THE EU. THE MFA'S ANH NOTED THAT "WE TALK ABOUT
HUMAN RIGHTS WHEN THE EU WANTS TO," ADDING THAT THE "TWO
SIDES SHOULD BE MORE UNDERSTANDING OF EACH OTHER." SHE
ADDED THAT THE GVN IS SOMETIMES "UPSET" OVER HUMAN RIGHTS
ISSUES RAISED BY EUROPEAN PARLIAMENTARY VISITS (ONE IS
ONGOING SEPTEMBER 9-14), SINCE SOME EU PARLIAMENTARIANS "DO
NOT UNDERSTAND THE HUMAN RIGHTS SITUATION IN VIETNAM AND
MAKE INACCURATE STATEMENTS."

8. (SBU) TO COUNTER WHAT ANH TERMED "DISTORTION" FROM EU
PARLIAMENTARIANS, THE MFA ORGANIZED A TRIP TO THE CENTRAL
HIGHLANDS IN MARCH 2002 TO PROVIDE AN "ACCURATE PICTURE" OF
THE HUMAN RIGHTS SITUATION IN THAT AREA. ONE EU PARTICIPANT
SUBSEQUENTLY COMPLAINED PRIVATELY TO US THAT THE TRIP HAD
BEEN "CAREFULLY MANAGED" BY THE GVN, LEAVING "ALMOST NO"
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PAGE 03 HANOI 02209 02 OF 04 100948Z
INTERACTION BETWEEN THE EU REPRESENTATIVES AND THE LOCAL
POPULATION. ANOTHER PARTICIPANT COMPLAINED THAT THE TRIP
HAD TAKEN A "LONG TIME" TO GET ORGANIZED. THE DIPLOMATS
WERE ACCOMPANIED BY A LARGE GROUP OF ESCORTS INCLUDING MANY
"REPORTERS," HE ADDED; LOCAL PEOPLE WERE PROBABLY
INTIMIDATED BY THE ESCORT, HE LAMENTED.

9. (SBU) THE EU'S CALDARONE INSISTED THAT THE EU CONTINUES
"TO PUSH THE GVN ON HUMAN RIGHTS," BUT "PERHAPS NOT AS
STRONGLY AS THE U.S." HE POINTED TO THE EU'S VIETNAM FIVE-
YEAR COUNTRY STRATEGY, RELEASED IN MAY 2002, WHICH LISTS
HUMAN RIGHTS AS ONE OF THE "CROSS-CUTTING THEMES" AND AS AN
"INTEGRAL PART" OF THE EU'S ASSISTANCE. WITH "LESS
HISTORICAL BAGGAGE" THAN THE U.S., THE EU PROBABLY DOES NOT
FIND AS MUCH HOSTILITY TOWARDS HUMAN RIGHTS ISSUES AS DOES
THE U.S., HE OPINED.

10. (U) AT THE EU HEADQUARTERS LEVEL, EU COMMISSIONER FOR
EXTERNAL RELATIONS CHRIS PATTEN EXPRESSED "CONCERN" ABOUT
THE HUMAN RIGHTS SITUATION IN VIETNAM IN JULY 2001. THE EU
FOLLOWED WITH A STRONGER STATEMENT AT THE NOVEMBER JOINT
COMMISSION MEETING, EXPLICITLY CITING PROBLEMS WITH FREEDOM
OF OPINION AND RELIGION, THE SITUATION OF ETHNIC MINORITIES,
AND CONTINUED APPLICATION OF THE DEATH PENALTY. THE GVN
RESPONDED FORCEFULLY TO THIS STATEMENT, PUBLICLY CLAIMING IT
DID "NOT REFLECT REALITY." MORE RECENTLY, THE MAY STRATEGY
PAPER NOTED THAT THE GVN'S PROGRESS IN HUMAN RIGHTS HAS BEEN
"LIMITED" AND THAT "NUMEROUS INSTITUTIONS OUTSIDE VIETNAM,
INCLUDING THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT, HAVE CRITICIZED THE GVN'S
HUMAN RIGHTS RECORD, PARTICULARLY CONCERNING THE DETENTION
AND IMPRISONMENT OF RELIGIOUS LEADERS. . ."
UNCLASSIFIED

PAGE 04 HANOI 02209 02 OF 04 100948Z

11. (SBU) EUROPEAN EMBOFFS IN HANOI VARIOUSLY NOTED THE
IMPORTANCE THEIR INDIVIDUAL COUNTRIES PLACE ON HUMAN RIGHTS
PROBLEMS IN VIETNAM. MIKAEL WINTHER, DANISH EMBASSY
COUNSELOR, SAID THAT HIS GOVERNMENT IS A "STRONG ADVOCATE"
OF HUMAN RIGHTS ISSUES AND "FULLY SUPPORTS" THE EU'S
DIALOGUE WITH THE GVN. THE NETHERLANDS' POLITICAL COUNSELOR
MICHIEL VAN DER VEN SAID HIS GOVERNMENT "STRONGLY SUPPORTS"
THE EU'S DIALOGUE AND ALSO BRINGS UP HUMAN RIGHTS ISSUES
BILATERALLY WITH THE GVN. SWEDISH EMBASSY COUNSELOR FOR
DEVELOPMENT COOPERATION PER LUNDELL SAID THAT HIS EMBASSY
DISCUSSES HUMAN RIGHTS "FORCEFULLY" WITH VIETNAM. HE ALSO
NOTED SWEDEN'S "CONTINUED" SUPPORT FOR THE EU HUMAN RIGHTS
DIALOGUE.

--------------------------------------------- -
DEVELOPMENT ASSISTANCE: EU'S HELP APPRECIATED
--------------------------------------------- -

12. (SBU) IN 2001, THE TOTAL DISBURSEMENTS OF EU MEMBER
STATES AND EU PROJECTS AND PROGRAMS IN VIETNAM AMOUNTED TO
USD 292 MILLION, ABOUT 20 PERCENT HIGHER THAN 2000 AND 40
PERCENT HIGHER THAN 1998, ACCORDING TO THE "EU DEVELOPMENT
COOPERATION ACTIVITIES IN VIETNAM" 2001 REPORT. THIS
REPRESENTS APPROXIMATELY 20 PCT OF ALL ODA FOR VIETNAM ON AN
ANNUAL BASIS. EU PROJECT ASSISTANCE ALONE AMOUNTED TO

UNCLASSIFIED

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MEDE-00 EB-00 ED-01 EXME-00 EUR-00 OIGO-00 E-00
FAAE-00 FBIE-00 UTED-00 VC-00 FRB-00 HHS-01 H-01
TEDE-00 INR-00 ITC-01 JUSE-00 L-00 VCE-00 MOFM-05
MOF-01 AC-01 NSAE-00 NSCE-00 OES-01 OMB-01 OPIC-01
PA-00 PM-00 PRS-00 ACE-00 P-00 SP-00 SSO-00
STR-00 TEST-00 TRSE-00 USIE-00 EPAE-00 PMB-00 DSCC-00
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AMEMBASSY VIENTIANE
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SUBJECT: VIETNAM AND THE EUROPEAN UNION

ALMOST USD 26.4 MILLION. WHILE THE EU'S ASSISTANCE IS
DIVIDED AMONG 19 SECTORS, ABOUT 40 PERCENT GOES TO THREE
MAIN AREAS: (1) AGRICULTURE, FORESTRY, AND FISHERIES (16
PERCENT); (2) SOCIAL DEVELOPMENT (13 PERCENT); AND, (3)
HEALTH (11 PERCENT), ACCORDING TO THE REPORT. THE EU
DELEGATION'S FIRST SECRETARY FOR DEVELOPMENT, ANDREW JACOBS,
NOTED THAT THE EU SEEKS TO ENSURE THAT ITS PROJECTS AGREE
WITH THE GVN'S DEVELOPMENT GOALS, PARTICULARLY POVERTY
ALLEVIATION.

13. (SBU) INDIVIDUAL MEMBER STATES -- MOST SIGNIFICANTLY
FRANCE, DENMARK, GERMANY, AND SWEDEN -- ALSO ADMINISTER
EXTENSIVE BILATERAL DEVELOPMENT ASSISTANCE PROGRAMS IN
VIETNAM, ACCORDING TO THE EU REPORT. FRENCH ASSISTANCE,
WHICH AMOUNTED TO ABOUT USD 70 MILLION IN 2001, SUPPORTS
PROJECTS IN: (1) LEGAL AND POLITICAL TRANSITION; (2)
RESEARCH FOR EDUCATION MODERNIZATION; (3) RURAL DEVELOPMENT;
AND, (4) POVERTY ALLEVIATION AND MEDICAL ASSISTANCE.
DENMARK OUTSTRIPS ALL OTHER EU DONORS IN VIETNAM ON A PER
CAPITA BASIS, WITH ABOUT USD 48 MILLION IN 2001, FOCUSED ON
FISHERIES, WATER RESOURCES, AND AGRICULTURE. GERMANY
CONTRIBUTED ABOUT USD 25 MILLION IN 2001, MOSTLY FOR: (1)
REFORM OF STATE ENTERPRISES AND PROMOTION OF PRIVATE
ENTERPRISE; (2) VOCATIONAL TRAINING; (3) SUSTAINABLE USE OF
NATURAL RESOURCES; AND, (4) HEALTH CARE. CONTINUING A LONG
HISTORY OF ASSISTANCE TO VIETNAM, SWEDEN IN 2001 DISBURSED
ABOUT USD 33 MILLION IN ODA, FOCUSED ON: (1) TRANSFORMATION
TO A MARKET ECONOMY; (2) ETHNIC MINORITY AREAS; (3)
ENVIRONMENT; (4) HUMAN RIGHTS, DEMOCRACY, AND TRANSPARENCY;
UNCLASSIFIED

PAGE 03 HANOI 02209 03 OF 04 100949Z
AND, (5) ENERGY, ACCORDING TO THE EU REPORT.

14. (SBU) THE MFA'S ANH SAID THAT THE GVN IS "VERY
GRATEFUL" FOR THE ASSISTANCE FROM THE EU AND MEMBER STATES,
NOTING THE PROJECTS "FIT WELL WITH OUR DEVELOPMENT
PRIORITIES." THE EU'S JACOBS SAID THE EU "WORKS CLOSELY"
WITH RELEVANT GVN MINISTRIES, ESPECIALLY THE MINISTRY OF
PLANNING AND INVESTMENT AND THE MINISTRY OF AGRICULTURE AND
RURAL DEVELOPMENT, TO ENSURE THE EU'S FOCUS STAYS ON TRACK
WITH THE GVN'S DEVELOPMENT GOALS. SOME EUROPEAN DIPLOMATS
ADMITTED PRIVATELY, HOWEVER, THAT THE EU HAS OCCASIONALLY
BEEN "SOMEWHAT HEAVY HANDED" IN PUSHING PROJECTS WITHOUT
GIVING THE GVN MUCH INPUT.

---------------------
A KEY TRADING PARTNER
---------------------

15. (U) ACCORDING TO STATISTICS OF THE GVN'S MINISTRY OF
TRADE (MOT), THE EU AS A WHOLE IS VIETNAM'S LARGEST EXPORT
MARKET, RECEIVING OVER USD 3.2 BILLION OF GOODS, OR 21
PERCENT OF VIETNAM'S EXPORTS IN 2001. A SIGNIFICANT PORTION
OF VIETNAM'S EXPORTS TRANSIT THIRD COUNTRIES, HOWEVER. IN
2001, VIETNAM HAD A TRADE SURPLUS OF AROUND USD 3 BILLION
(THE EU'S FIGURE) OR ABOUT USD 2 BILLION (MOT'S FIGURE).
VIETNAM'S EXPORTS INCLUDE TEXTILES, FOOTWEAR, SEAFOOD
PRODUCTS, AND OTHER AGRICULTURAL PRODUCTS, MAINLY TO FRANCE,
GERMANY, THE UNITED KINGDOM, ITALY, THE NETHERLANDS, SWEDEN,
BELGIUM, AND SPAIN. VIETNAM'S IMPORTS FROM THE EU CONSIST
MAINLY OF MACHINERY AND OTHER MANUFACTURED GOODS, ANH NOTED.

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PAGE 04 HANOI 02209 03 OF 04 100949Z
16. (U) HOWEVER, THE GVN OFTEN VIEWS EU QUALITY CONTROL
REQUIREMENTS FOR AGRICULTURAL AND SEA PRODUCTS AS A WAY TO
LIMIT MARKET ACCESS, ACCORDING TO COLONEL TRAN NHUNG,
INTERNATIONAL DEPARTMENT DIRECTOR OF THE "PEOPLE'S ARMY"
NEWSPAPER. EU MEMBER STATES' EMBOFFS AND THE MFA'S ANH SAID
SEPARATELY THAT THE GVN SOMETIMES APPROACHES INDIVIDUAL
MEMBER STATE EMBASSIES FOR RESOLUTION OF SUCH ISSUES. AS
ANH NOTED, "WE VALUE THE MULTILATERAL RELATIONSHIP, BUT WE
LOOK TO THE SINGLE (EUROPEAN) COUNTRIES FOR SUPPORT FOR OUR
POSITIONS." UK EMBOFF DUNN SAID THE GVN "HAS DIFFICULTY"
DEALING WITH THE EU AS A WHOLE AND MAY BE "MORE COMFORTABLE"
APPEALING TO INDIVIDUAL MEMBER STATES FOR SUPPORT.

-----------------------
NOT CONCERNED ABOUT BTA
-----------------------

17. (SBU) ACCORDING TO THE EU'S CALDARONE, THE GVN HAS
EXPLICITLY PROMISED THAT THERE WILL BE "NO DISCRIMINATION"
AGAINST THE EU DUE TO THE US-VIETNAM BILATERAL TRADE
AGREEMENT (BTA). HE ADDED THAT THE EU HAS PROMISED TO
SUPPORT VIETNAM'S ACCESSION TO THE WORLD TRADE ORGANIZATION,
A GOAL THAT BTA IMPLEMENTATION WILL ADVANCE. THE 2001 "EU
ECONOMIC AND COMMERCIAL COUNSELORS' REPORT" NOTED THAT THE
GVN HAS CONFIRMED "BY AN EXCHANGE OF LETTERS" THE BTA "WILL
NOT LEAD TO ANY DISCRIMINATION AGAINST EU COMPANIES." THE

UNCLASSIFIED

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INFO LOG-00 NP-00 AID-00 ACQ-00 CEA-01 CIAE-00 COME-00
CTME-00 DOEE-00 ITCE-00 DOTE-00 SRPP-00 DS-00 EB-00
ED-01 EXME-00 EUR-00 E-00 FAAE-00 FBIE-00 UTED-00
VC-00 FRB-00 HHS-01 H-01 TEDE-00 INR-00 ITC-01
JUSE-00 LAB-01 L-00 VCE-00 MOFM-05 MOF-01 AC-01
NSAE-00 NSCE-00 OES-01 OMB-01 OPIC-01 PA-00 PM-00
PRS-00 ACE-00 P-00 SP-00 SSO-00 STR-00 TEST-00
TRSE-00 USIE-00 EPAE-00 PMB-00 DSCC-00 DRL-02 G-00
NFAT-00 SAS-00 /018W
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TO SECSTATE WASHDC 7520
INFO AMCONSUL HO CHI MINH CITY
ALL EUROPEAN UNION POST COLLECTIVE
USEU BRUSSELS
AMEMBASSY PHNOM PENH
AMEMBASSY VIENTIANE
SECDEF WASHDC//ISA/ACHAO//
USCINCPAC HONOLULU HI

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SUBJECT: VIETNAM AND THE EUROPEAN UNION

MFA'S ANH NOTED THAT THE GVN "VALUES" THE EU AS A TRADING
PARTNER AND EXPECTED THE BTA WOULD "BE HEALTHY FOR ALL
SIDES."

-----------------------
EU ENLARGEMENT POSITIVE
-----------------------

18. (U) THE MFA'S ANH EXPRESSED WELCOME FOR THE UPCOMING
EU ENLARGEMENT, NOTING SPECIFICALLY THAT "MANY OF THE NEW
MEMBER STATES ARE OUR TRADITIONAL FRIENDS." THE IIR'S UYEN
SEPARATELY AGREED, CITING VIETNAM'S "EXTENSIVE EXPERIENCE
AND GOOD MARKET ACCESS IN EASTERN EUROPE." HE ALSO NOTED
THE ADVANTAGE OF SUBSTANTIAL VIETNAMESE MIGR COMMUNITIES
IN SEVERAL NEW MEMBER STATES, ESPECIALLY POLAND, ROMANIA,
AND THE CZECH REPUBLIC. UYEN ADMITTED THAT VIETNAM COULD
FIND ITSELF COMPETING AGAINST SOME EASTERN AND SOUTHERN
EUROPEAN COUNTRIES TO EXPORT CERTAIN TEXTILE PRODUCTS.
.
HOWEVER, HE ADDED THAT THIS WOULD BE A "MINOR PROBLEM,
OUTWEIGHED BY THE OVERALL PLUSES OF MORE POLITICAL
STABILITY, A STRONGER, MORE UNITED EUROPE, AND GENERAL
ECONOMIC DEVELOP THAT WILL BENEFIT EVERYONE."
PORTER

UNCLASSIFIED

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