Vietnamese apparel industry will be among the biggest beneficiaries of the EVFTA. (Photo: VOV)
The Vietnamese Ministry of Industry and Trade and the European Trade Commission have agreed to sign the EU-Vietnam free trade agreement (EVFTA) on December 2, Industry and Trade Minister Vu Huy Hoang told local media late on November 19.
Vietnam and the EU finalized the FTA in August after nearly three years of negotiations. EU nations will take two years to ratify the agreement.
Under the agreement, 99% of tariffs will be removed, except for a small number of tariff lines for which the EU and Vietnam agreed on partial liberalization through zero-duty Tariff Rate Quotas.
Vietnam will liberalize 65% of import duties on EU exports to Vietnam at entry into force, with the remainder of duties being gradually eliminated over a 10-year period. Meanwhile, the EU duties will be eliminated over a 7-year timeline.
Bruno Angelet, newly-appointed ambassador and head of the EU Delegation to Vietnam told local press last month that Vietnam needs to be well-prepared in terms of infrastructure and food hygiene and safety to take advantage of the EVFTA.
He hoped before the agreement is ratified and comes into force, Vietnam leaders would build good policies to better preparations for and capitalize on the opportunities when the agreement becomes effective.
The EU is Vietnam’s second-largest trading partners. Trade between Vietnam and the 28-country bloc increased 9% year-on-year to $36.8 billion in 2014, of which Vietnam’s exports to the bloc rose 14.7% year-on-year to $27.9 billion.