EU and Vietnam hold sixth round of FTA talks

07/02/2014    150

The EU and Vietnam today completed the sixth round of negotiations for a Free Trade Agreement (FTA). The talks were held in Brussels from 13-17 January.

Negotiators made good headway on all chapters of the proposed FTA. Three areas – customs and trade facilitation, technical barriers to trade, and competition (anti-trust & mergers) – saw particular progress with the teams being able to conclude their technical work and reach agreement. 

Negotiators also had intense discussions on market access for goods, services and investment, and government procurement. Constructive talks were held on sustainable development, more specifically on sustainable forest management and trade in forest products, climate change, and on Multilateral Labour Standards. 

A positive atmosphere surrounded discussions on a so-called “Car Annex” dedicated to encouraging the use of international standards in the automotive sector and thus improving the investment environment in that sector. 

The negotiations are aimed at achieving an ambitious agreement on goods, services and investment, eliminating tariffs and non-tariff barriers and covering other trade-related issues, such as public procurement, regulatory issues, competition, and trade and sustainable development. Once in place, the agreement will boost EU-Vietnam trade and investment ties and provide for more business opportunities on both sides. 

The two negotiating teams were headed on the EU side by Mauro Petriccione, Director in the European Commission’s Directorate General for Trade, and his Vietnamese counterpart, Vice Minister for Industry and Trade Tran Quoc Khanh. 

The next round of negotiations will be held in Hanoi from 17-21 March 2014.