The Hanoitimes - This information is confirmed at the workshop on the EU – Vietnam Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA) held on Paris from December 1 by the Mouvement des entreprises de France (MEDEF), or the Movement of the Enterprises of France, the largest employer federation in France in collaboration with Asia Center.
At the conference, the Vice Minister of Industry & Trade Tran Quoc khanh said after the successful conclusion of negotiation for EVFTA at the end of 2015, Vietnam and the European Union (EU) are finalizing the language and legal framework for the agreement, which will be later submitted to higher authorities for approval at the beginning of 2018. The Vice Minister Tran Quoc Khanh also informed that the Vietnamese Government is preparing an action plan for the agreement, which is expected to be completed at the soonest.
On the other hand, Chief negotiator of EU delegation for EVFTA – Mr. Raffaele Mauro Petriccione expressed his hope that EVFTA will be signed and approved from now on until the end of 2018. However, Mr. Petriccione note that this process can be prolonged as EU is a big organization with many countries members. According to Mr. Petriccione, for EU, Vietnam is the EU’s third largest trading partners in ASEAN, after Malaysia and Singapore with the two-way trade value in 2016 amounted to 41 billion Euro. Vietnam and EU is two complementary economies, which is an important factor. Vietnam exports to EU electronics products, clothing, footwear, rice, fisheries and coffee, while EU mainly exports to Vietnam high technological products, industrial machines and medicines.
EU is one of the most important market for Vietnam.
The Chief negotiator of EU delegation for EVFTA highly regarded opportunities of the Free Trade Agreement can bring to European enterprises, such as the high growth rate of Vietnam’s economy, fast developing financial market, the ongoing restructuring of state-owned enterprises (SOEs) and the public investment market of Vietnam after the agreement, especially the status of Vietnam in ASEAN.
Along with the attraction of a big market, EU has set up numerous requirements for Vietnam, which is to apply international standards, especially standards of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) in SOEs management. At present, Vietnam is having similar policies, however, there remains the gap between expectation and practical needs. Therefore, the necessity of meeting this requirement of EU would bring positive impacts for the effort of economic reform of Vietnam.
EU is a big market with 500 million customers and high level of income in the world. This is also one of Vietnam’s biggest export market in recent years. However, in reality, the Vietnam’s export value of 34 billion USD in 2016 to EU is equivalent to only 1.5% of the total import value of EU. With this being said, with the advantage of removing import tariffs for goods and new mechanism with regard to non-tariff barriers, EVFTA will tremendously help Vietnamese enterprises in exporting goods to EU.
With high level of commitment, the EU – Vietnam Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA) is a comprehensive and high quality agreement, which balances the benefit of both Vietnam and EU and taking into consideration the gap in level of development.