The European Parliament (EP) heard reports on the progress of negotiations on the EU-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA) in Brussels on February 24 ahead of the final round of negotiations to take place in Vietnam in March 2015.
Chief Negotiator of the EU Mauro Petriccione noted that as Vietnam is the first developing country to get involved in FTA negotiations with the EU, the EU has taken into consideration Vietnam’s development level and has showed certain flexibility in the negotiation process.
He outlined basic contents of the trade pact, including the union’s priorities to government purchase, State-run businesses, and market opening for goods, services and investment.
The chief negotiator said he believed the two sides can wrap up the negotiation at the March talks and the EP will quickly ratify the pact.
Vice Chairman of the EP’s International Trade Committee (INTA) Jan Zahradil expressed satisfaction at the outcomes of the past negotiation rounds, adding that based on these results and the pace of negotiation, the two sides can hope for an early conclusion of the EVFTA.
Vietnamese Ambassador to Belgium and head of the Vietnamese Delegation to the EU Vuong Thua Phong highlighted the significance of the pact to Vietnam.
He underlined Vietnam’s political will to accelerate the negotiation in line with its policy of comprehensive international integration.
Phong said he hopes the two sides will conclude the FTA in the first quarter of 2015 in accordance with the agreements and directions of their leaders.
He also took this occasion to call upon the European parliamentarians to continuously support Vietnam and actively speed up the negotiation process and ratification of this trade deal.