EU Commissioner visits the UEB

Mr. Andris Piebalgs (right) and Assoc.Prof.PhD. Nguyen Hong Son
On 29th March 2012, a European Union (EU) commission paid a work visit to VNU University of Economics and Business and held a discussion with the University’s faculty members and students.

Mr. Andris Piebalgs - EU Development Commissioner led the delegation. He was accompanied by Ms. Stina Soewarta - Member of Cabinet of the Energy Commissioner, Mr Franz Jessen - EU Ambassador to Vietnam as well as leaders of EU organizations for Vietnam and Asia - Pacific regions.
Receiving the delegation were Assoc.Prof.PhD. Nguyen Hong Son - Rector, Assoc.Prof.PhD. Tran Anh Tai and Assoc.Prof.PhD. Nguyen Ngoc Thanh - Vice Rectors, faculties and students of VNU University of Economics and Business. 
The two-day visit to Vietnam is very significant as EU expects to extend its cooperation with emerging markets and assess its investment strategy for developing countries. Therefore, Mr. Peibalgs’s speech was to provide the participants with update information of EU’s development programs and funding policies for Vietnam.  

Commissioner Andris Piebalgs visiting VNU University of Economics and Business.

In the first part of his speech at VNU University of Economics and Business, Mr. Piebalgs has introduced briefly about European Union, a world economic and financial center. He believed the young people’s engagement is critical to the general development and growth and plays a vital role for the success of any policy, including development policy. Having mentioned the world contexts and difficulties that developing countries are facing, he explained why poverty eradication and food security should be seriously cared about especially in the global economic recession. At present, EU has contributed more than a half of the world aids to developing countries and the European Commission is the second largest donor in the world. EU’s development budgets for developing countries in the 2007-2013 period comes to approximately 40 billion euro. He said poverty eradication is a part of sustainable development approach and clearly stated as an EU objective in the Lisbon Treaty - the document that forms the constitutional basis for all EU actions. In order to stress the roles of the youth, he said: “Young people like you know well how the world today is interconnected and fast changing. So, to shape our future policy, we have taken into account the world around us.”
As the EU development commissioner, Mr. Piebalgs has highly appreciated the development achievements that Vietnam has gained so far. He hopes that he could have given the students and faculties attending the meeting with the concepts of EU development policy at present and in the future. He also looks for approaches to work with countries like Vietnam more effectively. By introducing briefly EU development policy for the future called Agenda for Change, Mr. Piebalgs promises to support Vietnam in policy and through donation programs because he thinks that the challenge for countries like Vietnam is how to achieve economic growth, industrialization, and modernization in a safe, sustainable, and environment friendly way. He appreciates Vietnam Socio-Economic Development Strategy to 2020 with a focus on structural reform, environmental sustainability, social equity and macroeconomic stability. He said the best growth is the growth that lasts and doesn’t deplete the planet’s precious natural resources. Vietnam has made breakthroughs in three areas including: (1) promoting human resources and skill development, (2) improving market institutions, and (3) infrastructure development that are ambitious and will take some efforts to achieve but are certainly steps in the right direction. Commissioner Piebalgs is willing to support Vietnam as a strategic partner to promote poverty eradication programs.
The commissioner and other delegates have received many questions from the faculties and students in regards to present and future EU’s official development assistance for Vietnam, education programs and scholarships that Vietnamese students and faculties may be eligible to, etc.
On behalf of the Management Board of VNU University of Economics and Business, Assoc.Prof.Dr. Nguyen Hong Son expressed his sincere thanks to the delegation and emphasized that the year 2012 marks the 22nd anniversary of diplomatic tradition between EU and Vietnam. He believed the visit would create opportunities for Vietnam National University, Hanoi and VNU University of Economics and Business to cooperate with EU in order to organize similar discussions and high quality human resource preparation programs for universities. Assoc.Prof.PhD. Nguyen Hong Son said EU has been a strategic partner for Vietnam in economic, trade, investment and political areas. He strongly believed that EU will continue to be a leading donor for Vietnamese development in the future.


On behalf of VNU University of Economics and Business, Assoc.Prof.PhD. Nguyen Hong Son expressed his sincerest thanks to commissioner Piebalgs and the delegation.

The discussion attracted the participation of many students and faculties of VNU University of Economics and Business.

Mr. Franz Jessen, EU Ambassador to Vietnam answered education-related questions by students.


 The delegation, faculties, and students take a photo after the discussion.

>> View or download the fulltext of  the speech by Mr. Andris Piebalgs at VNU - UEB here.

T.D - Photos: Do Chiem

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