EU-Vietnam Reached an Agreement on Free Trade Deal

December 25, 2015 2:52 pm

On 4th August 2015, the agreement between the EU and Vietnam in principle reached for a free trade deal includes the elimination of nearly all tariffs (over 99%). After three years of intense talks, negotiations with commitments taken by both sides the Free Trade Agreement is considered one of the most comprehensive and ambitious trade and investment agreement.

Vietnam will liberalise tariffs over a 10-year period and the EU will liberalise tariffs over a 7-year period. The agreement also covers non-tariff barriers to trade and other trade related aspects such as public procurement, regulatory issues, competition, services, investment, intellectual property rights, and sustainable development.

“Vietnam is a growing economy and once this agreement is up and running, it will provide significant new opportunities for companies on both sides, by increasing market access for goods and services. Over 31 million jobs in Europe depend on exports, so having easier access to a growing and fast developing market like Vietnam, with its 90 million consumers, is great news. And Vietnam’s exporters will now get much easier access to the EU for their products, giving an important boost to the Vietnamese economy”, expressed by EU Trade Commissioner Cecilia Malmström.
EU exports to Vietnam are dominated by high tech products including electrical machinery and equipment, aircraft, vehicles, and pharmaceutical products. Vietnam’s key export items to the EU include telephone sets, electronic products, footwear, textiles and clothing, coffee, rice, seafood, and furniture.

In 2014, EU-Vietnam trade in goods was worth over €28.3 billion, with €22.1 billion in imports from Vietnam into the EU, €6.2 billion in exports from the EU to Vietnam.

The EU is one of the largest foreign investors in Vietnam. In 2013, EU investors committed a total US$ 656 million in Foreign Direct Investment and thus remain Vietnam’s sixth largest foreign investor’s partner.

The legal text will be finalised after the summer break and both sides are aiming to sign and ratify the agreement within this year. It is the second agreement in the ASEAN region after Singapore and it will intensify the bilateral relations between Vietnam and the EU.
The deal is expected to take effect in late 2017 or early 2018.

Source: European Commission

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