The full text of the free trade agreement between the European Union (EU) and Vietnam was made public on Monday, following the conclusion of the negotiation process in December.
The European Commission said that this would allow all interested stakeholders to familiarise themselves with the agreement’s content well in advance of the domestic ratification processes both in the EU and in Vietnam.
The text would now be under legal review to verify its consistency before being translated into all EU languages and Vietnamese, then signed and ratified by both parties.
Head of the EU Delegation to Vietnam Bruno Angelet said that the agreement would be mutually beneficial for both sides. He said that Vietnam would consolidate permanent market access to the EU and that the EU were ready to support Vietnam to ensure that the country could reap the benefits of the FTA.
Once in force, the FTA would eliminate almost all tariffs for goods originating from Vietnam after seven years.
There were also commitments in services, public procurement, non-tariff barriers, export duties and a good regulatory package.
The EVFTA was expected to set a good model for the rest of the Asean countries.
The negotiation of the trade deal which was a balanced and comprehensive agreement, concluded after nearly three years with 14 official round of talks and multiple mid-term negotiations amid growing relations between the two sides, especially in economics and trade.
The EU was Vietnam’s second largest trade partner and one of Vietnam’s biggest export markets.
Exports to the EU tripled over the last five years, representing $30.9 billion in 2015 whereas imports accounted for $10.3 billion.
Vietnam’s key export items to the EU included footwear, textiles, coffee, and wooden furniture, in addition to seafood, while EU exports to Vietnam were dominated by high tech products such as electrical machinery and equipment, aircraft, vehicles and pharmaceutical products.
In 2015, the EU became Vietnam’s third largest investor climbing up from the sixth position the previous year.
The text of the FTA could be downloaded from this link: http://trade.ec.europa.eu/doclib/press/index.cfm?id=1437