EU-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement Now Available Online (01/02/2016)
The European Union today published the text of the Free Trade Agreement between the EU and Vietnam (EVFTA). The step follows the conclusion of the negotiating process in December.
The European Commission makes the text of the agreement available to the public as soon as the talks have been finalised. This will allow all interested stakeholders to become familiar with its content well in advance of the domestic ratification processes both in the EU and in Vietnam. According to the usual procedure, the text will now be subject to a legal review to verify its consistency and ensure that all the provisions are formulated in a legally-sound way. It will then be translated into all EU languages as well as into Vietnamese before being signed and ratified by both parties.
"This is a very ambitious agreement that will further strengthen our already very solid bilateral relations" said the Head of the EU Delegation to Vietnam, Ambassador Bruno Angelet. "Once in force," he continued "it will be mutually beneficial for both sides. Vietnam will consolidate permanent market access to the largest economy in the world and one of its most important trading partners, the European Union. I am extremely pleased by the seriousness and high commitment shown by Vietnam to these negotiations. In this respect, we are ready to support Vietnam to ensure it can reap the benefits of the FTA. As outlined in the Press Statement by the President of the European Commission Jean-Claude Juncker, the President of the European Council Donald Tusk and the Prime Minister of Vietnam Nguyen Tan Dung of December 2015, we will now start working together with the Vietnamese authorities to define a roadmap to prepare for implementation”.
The EVFTA is a very good, balanced and comprehensive agreement which reflects Vietnam’s deep commitment in pursuing trade opening and its transition towards a more competitive and sustainable economy. It includes the elimination of almost all tariffs for goods originating from Vietnam after 7 years. There are also commitments in services, public procurement, non-tariff barriers, export duties and a good regulatory package. After Singapore, it is the second ASEAN partner which has concluded an FTA with the EU and it could offer a good model for the rest of the ASEAN countries.
The EU is Vietnam's largest export market (together with the US) and its' second trade partner. Exports to the EU have multiplied by three over the last five years, representing USD 30.9 billion in 2015 whereas imports accounted for USD 10.3 billion. In 2015, the EU became Vietnam’s third largest investor climbing up from the sixth position the previous year. The European Union believes that the implementation of the EVFTA will boost our bilateral trade flows and promote further EU investment in line with the sustainable development goals included in the FTA.
Text of the EU-Vietnam Free Trade agreement: