Vietnam and the EU will continue the 12th round of negotiations on the EU-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA) on March 24 in Hanoi, which is expected the last session before the negotiations are concluded and the agreement signed.
The signing of the Agreement of Partnership and Cooperation and the EVFTA negotiations are positive signs in bilateral ties as Vietnam and the EU celebrate the 25th anniversary of diplomatic ties this year, said spokesman for the EC’s Trade Office Joseph Waldstein Wartenberg.
Vietnam is a friendly and reliable partner of the EU and the EVFTA will promote growth for both sides, he asserted.
The EU is the second largest trade partner of Vietnam, with the two-way trade turnover reaching 27 billion Euros in 2013. Vietnam is the fourth largest trading partner of the EU in ASEAN and the 30th in the world. The nation’s exports to the EU increased by 28% during the 2009-2013 period.
Mr. Wartenberg added that the country is one of the most rapidly developing ASEAN countries and serves as an outstanding example of an open trade market.
With its young and skilled workforce, the country has great potential for trade and investment partnership with the EU, he said.
The official asserted that the EVFTA is an ambitious and comprehensive deal in terms of goods, services, investment and government purchase. Apart from the removal of tariff and non-tariff barriers, both sides are working to settle other issues related to trade, legal matters, competition, intellectual property, and geographical indication, he revealed.
He also expressed his appreciation of Vietnam’s commitment to economic and political reform, affirming that the EU will continue assisting Vietnam in the process through the EVFTA.
Mr. Warternberg said that besides tax and trade barriers, negotiations would focus on legal issues, competitiveness and other issues related to intellectual property rights.
Other regulations on the labor and investment environment as well as a legal framework involving civil organizations will also be negotiated.
Vietnam should commit to protecting and managing sustainably its biodiversity and forests, preventing illegal logging as part of its efforts to fight climate change, he suggested.
Source: Vietnam Breaking News