Vietnam, EU Ink Free Trade Accord

Tuan Minh

09:21 03/12/2015

BizLIVE - Vietnam and the European Union on November 2 signed a free trade deal after nearly three years of negotiations.

Vietnam, EU Ink Free Trade Accord

Vietnam's Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung (L) meets with European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker at the European Commission in Brussels on Dec 2, 2015. (Photo: AFP)

The free trade agreement (FTA) was inked by EU Trade Commissioner Cecilia Malmstroem and Vietnamese Trade Minister Vu Huy Hoang during Prime Minister’s tour to the EU.
The agreement will liberalize 99% of tariffs on goods traded between the 28-nation bloc and the communist country over a period of up to seven years, except for a small number of tariff lines for which the EU and Vietnam agreed on partial removal through zero-duty Tariff Rate Quotas.
The agreement is the first that the EU has concluded with a developing country and Vietnam is the second country after Singapore out of the 10-member ASEAN to have signed an FTA with the EU.
Vietnam’s exports to the EU are expected to increase an additional 4%-6% annually in comparison with no EU-Vietnam FTA, said Minister Hoang.
Bilateral trade rose to $36.8 billion in 2014 from $17.75 billion in 2010. The value grew 11% year-on-year to $19.4 billion in the first half of this year, of which Vietnam shipped $14.9 billion worth of goods to the European market.
EU countries have invested $38.4 billion in 2,100 projects in Vietnam, marking their presence in almost key sectors such as manufacturing, construction and services in the latter.