First round FTA Vietnam – EU19/06/2013 128
It involves 60 experts from both sides. The Vietnamese delegation is headed by Deputy Minister of Industry and Trade Tran Quoc Khanh and the EU delegation by Chief Negotiator Mauro Petriccione.
As scheduled, both sides will engage in three rounds of negotiations from now into 2013 to be finished in 2014.
Vietnam wants to sign the FTA with the EU, in the hope that domestic businesses will be able to penetrate the European market and provide an opportunity for local consumers to purchase EU products at cheaper prices.
However, the FTA also requires Vietnam to improve its legal framework on a par with international standards.
In 2011, Vietnam is the EU’s fifth largest trade partner among ASEAN member countries, with bilateral trade turnover reaching 18 billion euro, including 12.8 billion from Vietnamese exports.
In the first half of this year, the EU became Vietnam’s second biggest partner which accounted for some 7.3 billion euro or 17.1 percent of the country’s total export turnover.
The EU is currently one of the largest foreign investors in Vietnam, with its capitalization estimated at 1.4 billion euro or 12 percent of the country’s total registered foreign direct investment (FDI) in 2011.