Vietnam and the European Union are working to hasten the settlement of some pending issues to ensure that the EU-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA) will be ratified early next year.
Both sides are looking to fast-track the EVFTA as relations between Vietnam and the EU, especially in economics and trade, continue to go well, according to Vietnamese media reports.
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.
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 open up 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 liberalize trade in financial services, telecommunications, and postal and courier services. The Southeast Asian country will also remove or cut production restrictions on food, beverages, and non-food sectors for EU businesses.
With commitments to secure a more open investment and business environment in Vietnam, the deal is expected to 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.