- June 27, 2019
- Posted by: icham_intern
- Category: Economics, Finance & accounting, Media, Trade missions
The Council of Ministers approved the EU-Vietnam trade and investment agreements, paving the way for their signature and conclusion. EU Commissioner for Trade Cecilia Malmström and Romanian Minister for Business, Trade and Entrepreneurship Ștefan-Radu Oprea will sign the agreement on the EU’s behalf in Hanoi on Sunday 30 June. The agreements are set to bring unprecedented benefits for European and Vietnamese companies, consumers and workers, while promoting respect for labour rights, environmental protection and the fight against climate change under the Paris Agreement.
President of the European Commission Jean-Claude Juncker said: “After Singapore, the agreements with Vietnam are the second to have been concluded between the EU and a Southeast Asian country, and represent stepping stones to a greater engagement between Europe and the region. It is also a political statement by two partners and friends standing together for open, fair and rules-based trade.”
Commissioner for Trade Cecilia Malmström said: “I am very pleased to see that Member States have given a green light to our trade and investment agreements with Vietnam. Vietnam is a vibrant and promising market of more than 95 million consumers and both sides have much to gain from stronger trade relations.”
The trade agreement will eliminate nearly all customs duties on goods traded between the two sides in a progressive way that fully respects Vietnam’s development needs. The agreement also contains specific provisions to remove technical obstacles, such as those in the car sector, and will ensure that 169 traditional European food and drink products recognised as Geographical Indications are protected in Vietnam. Thanks to the agreement, EU companies will also be able to participate in bids for procurement tenders in Vietnam on an equal footing with domestic companies.
Besides offering significant economic opportunities, the EU and Vietnam have agreed strong sustainable development measures. This includes a commitment to implement the Paris climate agreement effectively. The agreement also commits both sides to respect and effectively implement the principles of the International Labour Organisation (ILO) concerning fundamental workers’ rights.
The investment protection agreement includes modern rules on investment protection enforceable through the new Investment Court System and ensures that the right of the governments on both sides to regulate in the interest of their citizens is preserved. It will replace the bilateral investment agreements that 21 EU Members States currently have in place with Vietnam putting in place new legal guarantees preventing conflict of interest and increasing transparency.
Following the endorsement by the Council, the agreements will be signed by the EU and Vietnam and presented to the European Parliament for consent. Once the European Parliament has given its consent, the trade agreement can be officially concluded by the Council and enter into force, while the investment protection agreement will first need to be ratified by Member States according to their respective internal procedures.
The agreements reached with Vietnam help paving the way for a future region-to-region agreement with the entire Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN).
For additional information, please visit: http://ec.europa.eu/trade/policy/in-focus/eu-vietnam-agreement/