The Free Trade Agreement (FTA) and the Investment Protection Agreement (IPA) between the European Union and Vietnam was inked on Sunday in Hanoi, by the minister for the Business Environment, Trade and Entrepreneurship (MMACA) Stefan-Radu Oprea, on behalf of the EU, a release by the relevant ministry sent to AGERPRES informs."The signing of the two agreements with Vietnam is sending a strong signal on the EU commitment regarding the rule-based free trade promotion, to its Asian partners. These accords bring huge advantages and opportunities to the EU and Vietnam consumers, employees and companies," minister Oprea said.
Stefan-Radu Oprea participated in the ceremony in his capacity as President-in-Exercise of the Foreign Affairs - Trade Council, alongside Cecilia Malmstrom, EU Commissioner for Trade. On behalf of Vietnam have signed Tran Tuan Anh, minister of Industry and Trade, and Nguyen Chi Dung, minister of Planning and Investment.
FTA is one of the most ambitious trade accords signed by the EU with a developing state, aiming to eliminate 99pct of the customs duties. 65pct of the taxes in the EU exports to Vietnam will vanish once the agreement is enforced, the rest of the customs duties being gradually excluded within 10 years.
The customs duties of the Vietnamese exports to the EU will be wiped out in 71pct share once the agreement is enforced, the rest of the duties being to be excluded gradually within up to 7 years.
The EU-Vietnam FTA will slash significantly the current non-tariff barriers and will open the EU businesses the access to the Vietnamese market for the services and public procurements' trade, while the IPA will strengthen the EU investments' protection in Vietnam.
"The EU-Vietnam FTA is a new-generation accord that contains important provisions referring to the intellectual property protection, the investment liberalisation and the sustainable development. Moreover, the FTA includes the implementation commitments of the ILO (International Labour Organisation) standards (such as, the freedom of association and the child labour banning) and of the UN conventions on the fight against the climate changes or the biodiversity protection," the release adds.