EuroCham pushes for early EU-Vietnam trade pact

By Dat Nguyen  &nbspMarch 15, 2019 | 10:46 am GMT+7
EuroCham pushes for early EU-Vietnam trade pact

The EU-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement will reduce 99 percent of tariffs between the two sides. Photo by AFP

The European Chamber of Commerce is pushing for ratification of the EU-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement so that it could be signed soon.

EuroCham has attended two hearings at the European Parliament to share the “positive steps Vietnam has taken” to prepare for the trade agreement, Nicolas Audier, chairman of the organization, said at an event Friday.

“Today it is clear that Vietnam is going in the right direction. New generation of free trade agreements such as the (EVFTA) will help Vietnam go even farther.”

Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Bui Thanh Son said Vietnam has been working closely with EU member states and bodies to ensure early signing of the trade deal.

“The EVFTA should be signed and ratified at the earliest possible, preferably during this term of the European Parliament, so that it could come into effect this year.”

The trade pact, submitted to the European Council last year, is considered a game changer as it would eliminate almost all trade tariffs between the two sides.

It will immediately remove tariffs on 65 percent of EU exports, with the remaining tariffs gradually eliminated over the next decade.

Of Vietnam’s exports, 71 percent will become tariff-free right away, rising to more than 99 percent over the following seven years.

The EU was Vietnam’s second largest export market last year behind the U.S., buying goods worth $41.9 billion, up 9.42 percent from 2017.

Bilateral trade is increasing by around 10 percent annually and was worth $55.8 billion last year.

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