EU-Vietnam FTA concluded

On December 1st, Vietnam and the European Union inked the new free trade agreement, a historic agreement initiated back in 2012. The EU-Vietnam FTA is the most comprehensive of its kind and offers several significant advantages for both parties.

Last Tuesday Vietnam and the European Union inked the long-expected free trade agreement, which aims to promote their mutual relationship, ironing out last details that had been left up for discussion at the general agreement back in August 2015. 

The agreement, highly beneficial and enhancing market access to both economies, is expected to trigger a new wave of investment in both directions. Additionally, it will help to support Vietnam’s transition towards a more integrated and competitive economy just like other trade agreements concluded by the country’s officials with nations such as South Korea and 11 other members of the Trans-Pacific Partnership most recently.

The pact also represents a milestone for relations between the EU and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) more generally being the second free trade agreement of the EU with an ASEAN state following the one with Singapore and further building towards a regional trade agreement between the EU and the entire ASEAN region.

An important achievement in this most comprehensive FTA with a developing country is Vietnam’s consent to a new investment dispute resolution system and the focus on the protection of workers’ rights as well as the careful use of natural resources.

Following the signing of the FTA, the participating parties declared to aim for a ratification and implementation by early 2018. The two sides also discussed other aspects of their relationship including the EU’s support for legal institution reforms and sustainable development in Vietnam as well as joint cooperation on issues ranging from the migration and refugee crisis to the maintenance of peace, security and freedom in the South China Sea.


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