On the margins of the EU General Affairs Council in Brussels on 12 September 2011, several Member States of the European Union signed the Partnership and Cooperation Agreements with Mongolia and Viet Nam. Signing the two agreements for the Federal Republic of Germany was Minister of State and Member of the Bundestag Dr. Werner Hoyer. He gave the following statement:
“The Federal Government expressly welcomes a deepening of the EU’s relations with Mongolia. As a parliamentary democracy, Mongolia is an important partner in East Asia, sharing our values. As one of the world’s ten most resource-rich countries, Mongolia is an attractive partner for us Europeans. Within the EU, Germany has a tradition of especially close relations with Mongolia. Over 20,000 Mongolians – nearly 1 percent of the total population – have studied in Germany. This is a particularly good basis from which Germany, as Mongolia’s major European partner, can continue to offer its expertise for the building of a modern industrial society.
The EU must also continue to broaden its relations with Viet Nam. As one of the key countries in the dynamic growth region of Southeast Asia, Viet Nam is a partner of particular significance, both for Germany and for the EU at large. The agreement signed today places relations with Viet Nam on a solid, future-oriented foundation and paves the way for negotiations on a free trade agreement that will be of particular benefit to Germany. Furthermore, the Partnership and Cooperation Agreement with Viet Nam contributes to the continued strengthening of political ties between the EU and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) on the whole.”
The Partnership and Cooperation Agreements between the EU and its Member States as well as Mongolia and Viet Nam establish a comprehensive contractual framework for political relations between the contracting parties. The agreements constitute a further step toward the EU’s increased political and economic involvement in the growth region of Asia. They open up new possibilities of cooperation in key areas such as climate change, energy, science and technology.