December 11, 2019

EU inks trade agreement with Vietnam

In the picture H.E. Ngo Thi Hoa, Ambassador of Viet Nam to The Netherlands.

Sunday, 30 June 2019, Socialist Republic of Vietnam: the European Union on signed the EU-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA), paving the way for tariff reductions on 99% of goods between the 28-member bloc and the Southeast Asian country, an ASEAN member state.

The EU has described, as per Commission’s statement, the free trade deal as “the most ambitious free trade deal ever concluded with a developing country.”

European Union Trade Commissioner Cecilia Malmström and Vietnam’s Minister of Industry and Trade Trần Tuấn Anh inked the EVFTA in Hanoi, three and a half years after negotiations were concluded in December 2015. The agreement still needs to be ratified by the European Parliament, wherein some EU legislators oppose such agreement vis-à-vis Vietnam because of the country’s alleged poor human rights record.

Vietnam has one of the fastest-growing economies in Southeast Asia. Backed by robust exports and foreign investment, the country has already signed several free trade pacts, including an 11-country deal known as the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP).

The EU is Vietnam’s second-largest export market after the United States, with main exports including garment and footwear products. In 2018, Vietnam exported $42.5 billion (€37.32 billion) worth of goods and services to the EU, while the value of imports from the region reached $13.8 billion (€12.12 billion), according to official data.

The free trade agreement with the EU will also boost Vietnam’s gross domestic product (GDP) by 2.18%-3.25% annually by 2023 and by 4.57%-5.30% annually between 2024-2028, the Vietnamese government said. As a result of the agreement, clothes, shoes and smartphones are expected to become less expensive in the EU, while almost all tariffs shall vanish. 

For further information: 
Vietnam-EU trade relations http://ec.europa.eu/trade/policy/countries-and-regions/countries/vietnam/

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