Progress made on Vietnam-EU free trade deal



NDO/VNA – The progress and quality of negotiations for an EU-Vietnam free trade agreement (EVFTA) have been ensured, making the target for the conclusion of the talks feasible, Minister of Industry and Trade Vu Huy Hoang said following his working session with EU Commissioner for Trade Cecilia Malmstrom in Brussels on June 23.

Both sides are close to completing talks three years after the launch of negotiations and after 13 official negotiation rounds as well as a number of mid-term rounds, the minister said.


The efforts of Vietnam’s negotiation team have paid off, he said, adding that there are only a few remaining issues to be resolved in the talks.


The minister held that the EVFTA is a comprehensive, high-quality, new generation deal covering a large number of matters, including the opening of markets, services, investments, intellectual property, geographical indications and public procurement.


Once the agreement is signed and becomes effective, it is crucial to propagate it amongst the public, first of all in the business community to make people aware of both the benefits and challenges generated by the deal, he said.


Besides circulating the agreement to the public, State management agencies should consult the business community, organisations and individuals on optimising the advantages of the deal and enacting measures to respond to its impacts, added the minister.


He advised enterprises to stay active in increasing their competitiveness to make full use of the agreement not only in the domestic market but also in the European market.


Opportunities brought about by the EVFTA are abundant, he asserted, noting that the EU is currently Vietnam ’s second largest trade partner. Meanwhile, Vietnam is a gateway for EU enterprises to a 600 million-strong ASEAN market with a GDP of US$2.5 trillion, he said.


Once the agreement takes effect, Vietnam ’s import-export revenue is expected to rise by 4-6%, he held, adding that the two sides’ economies can supplement each other as Vietnam requires machinery and equipment from the EU while the EU requires agricultural and processed products, one of Vietnam’s strengths.


Vietnam also welcomes EU investors in high technology and high added value projects, he added.

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