4th negotiation round of Vietnam – EU Free Trade Agreement

18/09/2013    49

The fourth Vietnam – EU (EVFTA) negotiation round was taking place in Brussels from July 1st to 5th, 2013 in Brussels, Belgium. At this negotiation round, two sides had accelerated discussion in all aspects and obtained positive progresses on basis of mutual benefit balance.

Vietnamese delegation in this negotiation round was headed by Deputy Minister of Industry and Trade, Chief Negotiator of Government Negotiation Delegation on international economic and trade integration, Tran Quoc Khanh, with participation of representatives from ministries, branches. The negotiation was conducted at Negotiation Chief, Deputy Negotiation Chief, and 12 working teams levels including trade in goods, trade in service, investment, customs cooperation, SPS, TBT, competition, sustainable development, institution and legislation… At the opening session, Chiefs of Vietnam and EU Delegations reconfirmed the importance of EVFTA for both sides and affirmed determination to speed up negotiation pace to reach positive results which satisfy both sides’ expectation. As evaluated by two Chief Negotiators, this negotiation round had been well prepared by Vietnam and EU, setting a base for accelerating negotiation pace in several important sectors including trade in goods, trade in service, investment, intellectual property, government procurement...

Vietnam’s and EU’s negotiators had exchange and clarification on their point of view and approach in specific sectors, as well as, had more detail introduction on related legislation and regulation system of respective sides to explain their own requests and proposals. In addition, two sides continued discussion on the text of market opening offers. Closing the negotiation round, two sides had achieved a deep understanding on counter-part’s view, approach, and wishes, creating a firm pre-condition for seeking an optimal solution for differences minimizing toward a practice-based and capability-suitable agreement on sophisticated contents. This also set out a significant base for both sides in holding further internal consultation and having the next in-depth and detailed negotiations.

EU currently has been the second largest trade partner and the biggest export market of Vietnam. The most striking characteristic in Vietnam – EU import – export structure is mutually complementary, less confrontative in direct competition. In 2012, total two-way Vietnam – EU trade turnover was 29.1 billion USD in which export to and import from EU were 20.3 billion USD and 8.8 billion USD, respectively. Pivotal Vietnam’s exports to EU include footwear, garment, coffee, wooden products, and sea foods. Being as a large investor in Vietnam, by the end of January 2013, EU has 1810 direct investment projects with total registered capital of 34.28 billion USD. EU investors are present in almost significant economic sectors of Vietnam, concentrating mainly in industrial production, construction, and service sub-branches.