After the conclusion of the 14th negotiating round from 13 to 17 July 2015, today, Minister of Industry and Trade of Viet Nam, H.E. Vu Huy Hoang, has a teleconference with the European Commissioner for Trade, H.E. Cecilia Malmstrom, and reached agreement in principle on the Viet Nam-EU Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA) negotiations. EVFTA is among agreements highest quality of Viet Nam and EU which, once in place, would bring about optimal benefits for the citizens and business of both sides.

In Ocober 2010, the Prime Minister of Viet Nam and the President of the European Commission agreed tha both sides would launch FTA negotiations  between Viet Nam and the EU after completing necessary technical works. On the basis, two sides have official announced the launch of negotiations of EVFTA on 26th June 2012. There have been on good progresses in negotiations thanks to the constructive approach and flexibilities as well as due attention and negotiation rounds and a number of intersessionals, at the Ministerial, Chief Negotiors’ and technical level, Viet Nam and EU have reached an agreement in principle on EVFTA negotiations.

            With the levels of commitments undertaken by both sides, EVFTA is a comprehensive agreement of high-quality and balanced interests to both Viet Nam and EU. The agreement basically compreses of Trade in Goods (Texts of general obligations and market access commitments) Rules of Origin, Customs and Trade Facilitation, Sanitary and Phytosanitary measures and Technical Barriers to Trade, Trade in Services (Text of general obligations and market access commitments), Investment, Trade Remediesm, Competition, State-Owned Enterprises, Government Procedure, Intellectual Property ( including Geographical Indications), Sustainable Development, Cooperation and Capacity Building, Legal and Institutional Issues.

EVFTA negotiations was launched and concluded in the context of the growing bilateral relations, especially from trade and investment perspectives, trade between Viet Nam and the EU. Thanks to the highly complementary nature of positive impacts on Viet Nam and the EU, EVFTA is  expected to bring about very benefits stand out. The most possible signficant impacts are:

With respect to imports and export, the strong market access commitments in the EVFTA will further intensify trade ties between Viet Nam and the  EU, expand export markets, especially for the products of comparative advantages of both sides, including apparel and textile, footwear, agri-products, fisheries, furniture, etc for Viet nam and machineries and equipment, vehicles, acholic beverages and certatin agri-products for the EU. Viet Nam and the EU will progressively elimanate import duties for more than 99 percents of tariff lines. For few remaining tariff lines, tariff rate quotas ( TQR) or partial tariff reduction will applied. This can be considerd the highest comminments that Viet Nam undertakes in an FTA signed.

With regard to investment, the commitments undertaken is EVFTA are to ensure an open and cnducive business and investment environment. This will help promote the high-quality flow from the EU as well as other partners of Viet Nam. Given the large –scale and tremendous potential of investment of the EU, Viet Nam will have opportunities to become a hub, connecting EU’s trade and investment activities in the region. This will accelerate the economic restructuring and transfrom growth model towards higher efficiency in Viet Nam.

Commitments in terms of investment, trade in serivices, government procedurement, intellectual property rights, etc. will complement market access commitments, ensure an overall and balanced benefits for the both sides. On the other hand, these commitments also require Viet Nam to adjust several domestic regulations. Nevertheless, such adjustments are basically consistent with Viet Nam ‘s policy of administrative reforms as well as relevant policy and regulatory system in Viet Nam

In EVFTA negotiations, Viet Nam and the EU have agreed on the framework for the cooperation and capacity building  in areas of mutual interests. This framework will assist Viet Nam to further improve our legal systems, implement the commitments in the agreement, enhance the competitiveness of SMEs, etc. aiming at the final goal of fostering bilateral trade and investment activities for mutual benefits.

Finally, the siging of an FTA with the EU, as a developed partner, will unfold many opportunities to access to modern technology, sharpen management skills, create more jobs and stablize social wwelfare for Viet Nam

For these benefits to be duly realised, two sides agreed to expecdite the consolidation of technicak issues in order to fully conclude the agreement this year, aiming at an early signing and ractification of the agreement./.

(Source: VITAS)

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