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EVFTA takes effect as a new landmark in Vietnam - EU relations

10:53 | 05/08/2020

The European Union - Vietnam Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA) officially took effect on August 1, marking an important milestone in the bilateral relationship on the occasion of the 30th anniversary of Vietnam - EU diplomatic ties (1990-2020).

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evfta takes effect as a new landmark in vietnam eu relations
Permanent Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Bui Thanh Son (R) hands over a diplomatic note notifying the Vietnamese National Assembly's ratification of the EVFTA and EVIPA to Ambassador of the EU to Vietnam Giorgio Aliberti on June 18 in Hanoi. (Photo: Ministry of Foreign Affairs)

The implementation of the EVFTA is anticipated to boost trade and investment between Vietnam and the EU, and bring the two sides' relations to a new height, according to Nhan Dan.

Over the last 30 years, the relationship between Vietnam and the EU has grown more sustainably, with the EU-Vietnam Framework Agreement on Comprehensive Partnership and Cooperation (PCA) being officially signed in 2012 and ratified four years later.

The bilateral political cooperation has been tightened through high-level visits, the exchange of delegations at all levels, and bilateral cooperation mechanisms. The EU is one of Vietnam’s leading trade partners with two-way trade reaching US$56.45 billion in 2019.

evfta takes effect as a new landmark in vietnam eu relations
The implementation of the EVFTA is anticipated to boost trade and investment between Vietnam and the EU (Photo: WTO Center)

The EVFTA was signed in June 2019, together with the EU-Vietnam Investment Protection Agreement (EVIPA). The deal officially came into force from the beginning of August. The EVFTA is one of the most comprehensive and ambitious FTAs that the EU has ever signed with a developing country.

It will bring great and balanced economic benefits between Vietnam and the EU, such as removing trade barriers and tariffs, opening a favorable investment environment, and committing to meet international standards in intellectual property and e-commerce.

"I strongly believe this agreement will become an opportunity for Vietnamese people to enjoy a more prosperous economy and witness a positive change. Vietnam is now part of 77 countries doing trade with the EU under bilateral agreed preferential conditions." EU Commissioner for Trade Phil Hogan commented.

"This agreement strengthens the EU economic links with the dynamic region of Southeast Asia and has an important economic potential that will contribute to the recovery after the coronavirus crisis. It also shows how trade policy can be a force for good. Vietnam has already made a lot of effort to improve its labour rights record thanks to our trade talks and, I trust, will continue its most needed reforms,” he noted.

The EVFTA will contribute to developing important cooperation frameworks and strongly accelerate trade and investment ties between Vietnam and the EU. The two sides affirmed the role of the pact and pledged close coordination to implement the EVFTA, thus optimizing the benefits by the agreement and revive growth of the global economy.

evfta takes effect as a new landmark in vietnam eu relations
The EVFTA will create new milestones for Vietnam’s international economic integration process (Photo: Vietnam Economic News)

The EVFTA also demonstrates Vietnam and the EU's mutual respect in their external development and integration strategies. According to Ambassador and Head of the EU Delegation to Vietnam Pier Giorgio Aliberti, the EVFTA is a premise towards reaching an FTA between the EU and ASEAN.

The EVFTA reflects the EU’s wish to expand cooperation with ASEAN and participate more actively in ASEAN-led mechanisms. Accordingly, the EU supports Vietnam’s role as ASEAN Chair 2020 in promoting cooperation between Vietnam and the EU, as well as between ASEAN and the EU.

The EVFTA will create new milestones for Vietnam’s international economic integration process. It will elevate and deepen the comprehensive cooperative partnership, while also contributing to strengthening cohesion between the two regions.

Vietnam is the EU’s second largest trading partner in ASEAN after Singapore, with trade in goods worth EUR45.5 billion in 2019 and trade in services of some EUR4 billion in 2018.

The EU’s main exports to Vietnam are high-tech products, including electrical machinery and equipment, aircraft, vehicles, and pharmaceutical products. Vietnam mainly ships to the EU electronic products, footwear, textiles and clothing, as well as coffee, rice, seafood, and furniture.

The EVFTA is the second trade agreement the EU has concluded with an ASEAN member state, following the deal with Singapore, reported by VOV.

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