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EVFTA: National Assembly deliberates over ratification of EU trade deal

06:31 | 12/06/2020

The National Assembly officially examined the ratification of the EU-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA) at the opening sitting of the 14th National Assembly’s ninth session on May 20.

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According to Vietnam Economics News, Minister of Industry and Trade Tran Tuan Anh presented deputies with a report clarifying the treaty provisions and its status. He said the European Parliament consented to the trade deal on February 12 and the Council of the EU gave its final approval to the agreement on March 30. The Council of the EU sent a diplomatic note on April 24, informing Vietnam that the EU had completed the final legal procedure according to the internal EU approval process. The new-generation free trade agreement will officially take effect for both the EU and Vietnam after the Vietnamese National Assembly ratifies and the two sides complete the notification procedures under the agreement, he said.

evfta national assembly deliberates over ratification of eu trade deal
Photo: tapchitaichinh.com

The developments follow the ratification of the FTA by the European Parliament (EP) on February 12. Analysts hope the trade deal will give a much-needed boost to Vietnam’s industries, such as manufacturing, as it looks to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic.

The EVFTA was signed on June 30 in Hanoi paving the way for increased trade with the EU and Vietnam.

The conclusion of negotiations and signing required the party and state’s great efforts and determination, as well as close and effective coordination among all levels, with the goals of soaring EU-Vietnam trade relations to new heights and promoting Vietnam’s international economic integration.

evfta national assembly deliberates over ratification of eu trade deal
Photo: ven.vn

Once the EVFTA comes into effect, it will help exporters find new markets, expand trade and production activities, and speed up development. Vietnamese businesses will be offered opportunities to access new supply chains in order to replace traditional ones that have been disrupted due to Covid-19.

The EVFTA is an ambitious pact providing almost 99 percent of the elimination of customs duties between the EU and Vietnam. As per the Ministry of Planning and Investment (MPI), the FTA is expected to help increase Vietnam’s GDP by 4.6 percent and its exports to the EU by 42.7 percent by 2025. While the European Commission has forecast the EU’s GDP to increase by US$29.5 billion by 2035.

65 percent of duties on EU exports to Vietnam will be eliminated while the remaining will be gradually phased out over a period of 10 years. 71 percent of duties will be eliminated on Vietnam exports to the EU, with the remaining being eliminated over a period of seven years, Vietnam Briefing reported.

The EVFTA is considered a new generation bilateral agreement – it contains important provisions for intellectual property (IP) rights, investment liberalization, and sustainable development. This includes a commitment to implement the International Labor Organization (ILO) standards and the UN Convention on Climate Change.

The deputies hailed government efforts to conclude trade deals, including the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) and the EVFTA.

Deputy Vu Tien Loc from Thai Binh Province said the EVFTA includes the highest level of commitment that a partner has ever offered to Vietnam, provides the biggest market and widest interactivity for the country.

Deputy Tran Hoang Ngan from Ho Chi Minh City said EVFTA implementation would help Vietnam strongly attract investment capital from the EU. Deputy Truong Trong Nghia from Ho Chi Minh City said the trade deal would “start a race, not a party. Vietnam could get stuck in the middle-income trap. Under this scenario, others would enjoy the party and we would bear the debt.”

Deputy Nguyen Minh Son from Tien Giang Province said the EVFTA would help increase the country’s competitiveness as well as that of local enterprises and commodities.

evfta national assembly deliberates over ratification of eu trade deal

HSBC: EVFTA to boost up Vietnam's GDP growth

The EU-Vietnam free trade agreement will increase Vietnam’s annual GDP growth by 0.1 percentage points and boost exports of various sectors, HSBC says.

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