Third round FTA Vietnam – EU

19/06/2013    57

The third negotiation round of Vietnam – EU Free Trade Agreement

Implementing guidance of the two sides’ Leadership, the third negotiation round of Vietnam – EU Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA) was held from April 23rd to 26th, 2013 in Hochiminh city. Vietnamese Delegation led by Deputy Minister of Industry and Trade, Vietnamese Government’s Chief Negotiator on economic issues and international trade Tran Quoc Khanh with representatives from relevant Ministries and branches were participating in the negotiation round.

12 Groups having discussion in this round include trade in goods, trade in service, investment, customs cooperation, SPS, TBT, sustainable development, institution and legislation, ect… At the opening session on April 23rd, Vietnam and EU Chief Negotiators agreed to keep active working spirit of the two previous negotiation rounds, and to have actual negotiation on basis of the views and approaches of each other. The two sides also agreed on roadmap of the necessary works to be done for implementing the goals to speed up FTA negotiation pace in line with the agreement between two high-ranking leaderships on negotiation conclusion by the end of 2014.
The third negotiation round was conducted at frank, open-minded, and cooperative atmosphere. Vietnamese and EU negotiators kept exchanging the views and approaches in specific sectors and had more detailed introduction on legislative system, regulations of each side for making clarification on proposals and requests. After this negotiation round, two sides reached certain understanding on the views, wishes, and approaches of partner side, minimizing the differences toward a common approach. The remarkable progress in this round is that most of the Groups had prepared and discussed on consolidated draft texts. Some Groups exchanged requests and main parts of the initial offers in order to have internal consultation for deeper and more detailed negotiation in the next rounds. The sides also agreed on roadmap and contents to be implemented to make preparation for the fourth negotiation round.

EU is the second big trade partner and the biggest export market of Vietnam. In 2012, total two-way trade turnover between Vietnam and EU was USD 29.1 billion. In which, export to EU was USD 20.3 billion and import from EU was USD 8.8 billion. The main exports of Vietnam to EU include shoes, coffee, seafood. EU is the big investor in Vietnam. By the end of January 2013, EU has 1810 foreign direct investment projects in Vietnam with total registered capital of USD 34.28 billion. EU investors are present in the most important economic sectors, mainly in industry, construction and some service sub-sectors.