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Vietnam-EU Free Trade Agreement ratification expedited

Some pending issues around the Vietnam-EU Free Trade Agreement are being settled to ensure that the deal will be ratified early next year.

Participants at an EVFTA workshop in Brussels, September 7th, 2017.

The Vietnam-EU Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA) is being struck with bilateral relations between Vietnam and the EU developing well, especially in economics and trade.

Under the agreement, the two sides will remove more than 99% of tariff lines and offer customs quotas or tariff reductions for other products.

The strong commitment to opening their markets is considered one of the agreement’s breakthroughs, particularly enhancing Vietnam-EU trade relations in garments, textiles, footwear, agricultural products, machinery, equipment, automobiles, and some EU farm produce.

The agreement will also create new market access opportunities in services and investment. Vietnam has agreed to a liberalization of trade in financial services, telecommunications, and postal and courier services. Vietnam will also remove or cut production restrictions in food, beverage, and non-food sectors for EU businesses.

With commitments to secure a more open investment and business environment, the deal will increase investment flows from the EU and other partners to Vietnam.

This could make Vietnam a transit hub connecting EU trade and investment activities to Southeast Asia.

Alann Bouvot, CEO of SODEX Sport Vietnam, which has done business in Nha Trang City since 1991, said “I’m quite optimistic about Vietnam’s investment environment. I have witnessed improvements in the local investment climate in 26 years investing there.

Since 2017 Sodex has invested in a new production facility covering an area of 15,000 m2. Our investment in Vietnam has brought us advantages in the entire Southeast Asian region. With a strategy to globalize our products, our presence in Vietnam is a key factor.”

At a recent workshop on the agreement in Brussels, Jean-Jacques Bouflet, a member of the EuroCham Executive Committee, said that to quickly realize the benefits of the deal, both sides should speed up negotiations in this decisive period.

Nguyen Hoang Long, Director of the Foreign Affairs Department of the Vietnam Foreign Ministry, said EU enterprises expect the deal to be signed soon and become an effective tool to protect them.

“The EU, represented by EU’s chief negotiator Mauro Petriccione, said that the early adoption of the EVFTA will be one of its priorities.

It will work closely with Vietnamese partners so that ratification in the European Parliament and negotiations with partners in the EU will soon be completed,” said Hoang Long.