New page in Vietnam-EU cooperation

(VOVWORLD) - The EU-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement and the EU-Vietnam Investment Protection Agreement were signed on Sunday in Hanoi after years of negotiations. The signing opens a new page in the bilateral comprehensive partnership.
New page in Vietnam-EU cooperation - ảnh 1

The Vietnam-EU relationship has developed rapidly in the 30 years since the two established bilateral ties in 1990. A EU-Vietnam Framework Agreement on Comprehensive Partnership and Cooperation signed in 2012 created an important legal framework to expand bilateral ties toward equal, comprehensive, and long-term cooperation.  The signing of the EVFTA and EVIPA gives new impetus to bilateral ties.

Win-win cooperation

With expansive and comprehensive commitments in economics, trade, investment, and sustainable development, the two agreements will create opportunities for both sides to unlock their potential, support each other, and strengthen their partnership. The EVFTA is expected to increase Vietnam’s GDP 4.6% and its exports to the EU 42.7% by 2025.

Minister of Industry and Trade Tran Tuan Anh said: “The signing of the EVFTA and the EVIPA shows Vietnam’s increased international status and its contribution to and responsibility for the development of globalization toward trade liberalization and facilitation. The agreements create an important foundation for bilateral ties.”

The EVFTA is the most ambitious agreement the EU has signed with a developing country. It reflects the two sides’ commitment to boosting international economic connectivity, trade liberalization, and equal, transparent, and rule-based investment.  Cecilia Malmstrom, EU Commissioner for Trade , said: "We can trade with less bureaucracy and less red tape and we also committed ourselves to pay specific attention to SMEs to help them and to guide them so that they can take advantage of the opportunities."

The agreements are considered an important step for the EU to reach a deal with ASEAN.

Efforts to overcome challenges, seize opportunities

Vietnam, due to its lower level of development, and the small scale and capacity of its small and medium-sized enterprises, will face numerous difficulties in fully exploiting the signed agreements.

The promised removal of tariffs after ten years will help Vietnam boots its exports and give it time to grow and adapt to integration. The agreements reflect Vietnam’s ability to negotiate economic and diplomatic issues and be a reliable partner. Minister Tran Tuan Anh said: “With Vietnam’s practical experience and consistent policy in international integration, the government’s upcoming action program will create favorable conditions for businesses to take advantage of the agreements. The government pays special attention to mechanisms in trade dispute settlement and plans to help enterprises protect their legitimate rights.”

The signing of the EVFTA and the EVIPA is an important milestone in the 30-year development of Vietnam-EU ties. The new milestone promises cooperation opportunities and also requires a joint effort from both sides. The agreements await approval by the Vietnamese National Assembly and the European Parliament to come into force.