EU and Vietnam Ready for Free-Trade Agreement

According to EuroCham Vietnam, the EU and Vietnam are set to begin full negotiations for a free-trade agreement (FTA) after completing the scoping exercise with a common understanding on key topics to be covered by the agreement during the 2nd ASEAN-EU Business Summit held in Phnom Penh, Cambodia on Sunday 1 April.

The European Commission will have to consult with EU Member States before it can launch formal negotiations with Vietnam. After Singapore and Malaysia, Vietnam is the third member of ASEAN with which the EU has begun negotiations on a free-trade deal.

EuroCham Vietnam Chairman Preben Hjortlund commented that “A Vietnam – EU FTA Vietnam will enable Vietnam to benefit from high-quality imports and increased technology transfer. Increased high-quality imports will – in return – help upgrading the quality of Vietnam’s exports so that Vietnamese enterprises will be able to improve their competitiveness in the long term.

EuroCham believes that once a Vietnam – EU Free Trade Agreement (FTA) is in place, EU FDI will further increase both in quantity and in quality: EU enterprises will increasingly perceive Vietnam as their ASEAN hub or even headquarters, from which they can service efficiently both ASEAN markets and neighboring countries, like Japan, China and India.

EuroCham welcomes the successful completion of the scoping exercise and looks forward to formal negotiations to conclude a Vietnam – EU free trade agreement. EuroCham is ready to advise on specific contents of a future FTA, and assist the authorities with the recommendations from the private sector side.”

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