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VN, EU conclude FTA negotiation

VGP – Viet Nam and the European Union (EU) have basically concluded negotiations on their free trade agreement (EVFTA) after 14 rounds of talks, announced Vietnamese Minister of Industry and Trade Vu Huy Hoang.

August 05, 2015 8:20 AM GMT+7

The press confrence, Ha Noi, August 4, 2015 - Photo: VGP/Phan Trang

The Minister made the announcement on August 4 in Ha Noi at a press conference.

According to Mr. Hoang, the EVFTA represents one of the agreements with the highest quality between Viet Nam and the EU and expects to benefit peoples and enterprises of both sides.

The EVFTA covers the trade in goods, rules of origin, customs and trade facilitation, sanitary and phytosanitary measures, technical barriers to trade, trade in services, investment, trade remedies, competition, State-owned enterprises, Government procurement, intellectual property, sustainable development, cooperation and capacity building, legal and institution.

The pact is expected to stimulate the Viet Nam-EU trade relations and expand market for exports especially goods of strength, including garment and textile products, footwear, agriculture, aquaculture and furniture of Viet Nam and machines, equipment, automobiles, motorbikes, beverage and agriculture of the EU.

In terms of exports, the two sides committed to removing over 99% of import tariffs. They also granted tariff quota or cut a part of tariffs for the rest of products. These are the highest commitments that Viet Nam has ever reached on FTA, said Mr. Hoang.

Regarding investment, both sides agreed to guarantee an opener and more transparent environment. Thus, the agreement would promote high-quality investment inflows from EU and other partners to Viet Nam.

Viet Nam would become an entrepôt center which connects EU’s trade and investment activities in the region. The process would promote economic restructuring and transformation of growth model towards positive directions, said the Minister.

“The EVFTA commitments also demand Viet Nam to amend domestic regulations. However, these adjustments are appropriate with Viet Nam’s orientations on administrative reform andgrowth model transformation and expected to bring back positiveresults,” said Mr. Hoang.

According Ambassador of EU Delegation to Viet Nam Franz Jessen announced that around 65% of made-in-Viet Nam products would enjoy tax exemption in the EU market. He also hoped that Viet Nam would continue to spare no effort for the final successful signing of the EVFTA.  

The EU is currently the second biggest trade partner and one of the two largest export markets of Vietnam. 

In 2014, two-way trade exceeded US$ 36.8 billion, a year-on-year increase of 9%. Viet Nam pocketed nearly US$ 28 billion from mainly shipping footwear, apparel, coffee, wood products and aquatic products to the EU.

Twenty-three out of the 28 EU member nations invested in Viet Nam by the end of 2014 with over 2,000 valid projects worth more than US$ 37 billion. EU investments are present in almost all important economic sectors of Viet Nam, especially industry,construction and services./.

By Kim Loan