The EU Trade Commissioner Cecilia Malmström and Vietnamese Minister of Industry and Trade Vu Huy Hoang agreed in principle on a comprehensive and ambitious trade and investment agreement. The final legal texts will have to be ironed out by negotiators after the summer break, but the substance of the deal has been agreed.This Free Trade Agreement (FTA), for which negotiations started in October 2012, is the most ambitious and comprehensive FTA that the EU has ever concluded with a developing country, the second in the ASEAN region after Singapore, and a further building block towards the EU’s ultimate objective of an ambitious and comprehensive region-to-region EU-ASEAN FTA.
This agreement will allow EU exporters and investors to access a fast-growing market of 90 million people and to consolidate their presence in one of the most dynamic regions in the world.
The agreement aims at progressively eliminating customs duties, and reducing non-tariff barriers to European exports, with Vietnam willing to conform to some international standards such as technological conformity for instance.
European Geographical Indications as well as Intellectual Property Rights are to be protected with the FTA; It should increase the EU firms’ attraction to Vietnam. This attraction should be even stronger with the opening of the Vietnamese market to European investments and service providers.
The Free Trade Agreement between the EU and Vietnam will ensure commitment to social and environmental protection standards from both parties, and promote democracy and respect for human rights.
To learn more about Vietnam and its economic rise, be a part of the breakfast talk “Country Focus: Vietnam 2016″ organized by EuroCham and register here.