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Introduction

8th negotiation round of Vietnam – EU FTA

The 8th negotiation round of Vietnam – EU FTA was conducted from June 23 to 27, 2014 in Brussels, Belgium. In this round, negotiation in all aspects has been accelerated, especially is in those two sides have benefits.

During the negotiation round, Minister of Industry and Trade Vu Huy Hoang had a working meeting with EU Trade Commissioner Karel De Gucht on EVFTA. It was the second consecutive time Minister of Industry and Trade and EU Trade Commissioner had a sideline meeting. At the meeting, Vietnam and EU affirmed determination agreed by two sides’ leadership on soon finalization of a comprehensive and high quality FTA agreement; having exchange on negotiation roadmap for in-schedule obtaining of set-out target. Both Vietnam and EU have expressed determination on negotiation table by offers in goods, service, investment, and Government’s procurement.

Vietnamese delegation headed by Deputy Minister of Industry and Trade, Head of Government’s Negotiation Delegation on International Economic and Trade, was of representatives from relevant ministries and branches. Negotiation was conducted at delegation-head level and 12 negotiation groups of trade in goods, trade in service, investment, rule of origin, SPS, trade remedies and safeguard, sustainable development, legal – horizontal issues, intellectual property…

At technical level, working groups had further discussion on consolidated text and detail exchange on the views and approach. Many groups have narrowed the gaps in specific issues. Working groups on trade in goods, trade in service, investment and Government’s procurement had negotiated respective offers and adjusted requests.

At delegation-head level, Vietnam and EU spent much time for detail discussion on solving core and complicated issues affecting negotiation schedule to find out solutions adequate to parties’ development level and expectation, and to agree on an implementation roadmap toward positive progresses on basis of balanced benefits.

Wrapping negotiation, two sides obtained set-out goals on several core issues and certain progresses in other aspects ofnegotiation. Vietnam and EU agreed on a negotiation roadmap at both ministerial level and technical level for negotiation speeding-up.

EU is Vietnam’s second large trade partner and the biggest export market. Highlighted characteristics in Vietnam – EU trade structure are mutual complement and less direct competition. In 2013, Vietnam – EU two-way trade turnover was 33.8 billion USD, increasing by 16.11% over the figure of 2012. In which, Vietnam’s export to and import from EU respectively reached 24.4 billion USD and 9.4 billion USD. Vietnam’s main exports to EU include footwear, garment, coffee, wooden items, seafood. By end of 2013, EU had nearly 1400 investment projects with total registered capital of 17 billion USD. EU investors are present in most important sectors, concentrating in industries, construction and service sub-branch.

Source: Multilateral Trade Policy Department

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