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Vietnam and EU to finalise EVFTA next year

Deputy minister of industry and trade Tran Quoc Khanh, disclosed Vietnam and the European Union (EU) are working towards finalising legal and language-related issues in the EU-Vietnam free trade agreement (EVFTA), before the official signing and ratification of the trade deal next year. At a workshop on the EVFTA held by the French Business Federation (MEDEF) and the Asia Centre in Paris, Khanh stressed on the common goals of the two sides to implement the agreement, after signing the deal and said that his government is looking at a specific plan to carry out the agreement.

The chief of the negotiation delegation of the EVFTA Raffaele Mauro Petriccione assessed the approval process for the agreement could take a long time as the EU is a trade bloc that has many members. Participants noted Vietnam’s active foreign economic-trade policy and highlighted their leading role in recent global events, mainly the Asia-Pacific Economic Co-operation (APEC) forum held in Da Nang.

Nguyen Dinh Cung, Director, Central Institute for Economic Management (CIEM), highlighted the importance of the EVFTA agreement in Vietnam’s integration process. The trade agreement brings great benefits to the country, as it is estimated it would generate an additional 2.5 per cent to Vietnam’s GDP by 2020 and 4.6 per cent by 2025.

The agreement is expected to help enhance Vietnam’s exports to the EU while creating new jobs for the Vietnamese labour force — especially for those working in rural and agricultural areas. It would also make it easier for Vietnam to import advanced technologies which would help improve the country’s economic rating. Vietnam is the third largest trade partner of the EU in ASEAN with trade touching $48.7 billion in 2016. Vietnam mainly exports electronics, textiles, footwear, rice, seafood and coffee to the EU while imports include hi- tech products, industrial machines and pharmaceuticals.