Strong economic growth has made Vietnam an increasingly attractive partner for Europe. The bilateral relationship with Vietnam is becoming more and more important: the EU is one of the largest investors in Vietnam, meanwhile Vietnam has become the EU`s second important trading partner among the ASEAN (the Association of South East Asian Nations) countries.
Following the conclusion of the negotiations in 2015, on February 2016,, a EU-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement (FTA) is finally published, currently under legal revision and it is expected to enter into force in early 2018.
Through the FTA, the EU and Vietnam are developing a more strategic partnership. The FTA will put EU exporters on a par whit the exporters from other countries that have already signed FTA with Vietnam. It will consent to more European firms to operate in Vietnam and, on the other hand, it aims also to promote a better access for Vietnamese business to the European market. It will promote a sustainable economic growth on both sides.
The agreement covers non-tariff barriers to trade, including the elimination of nearly all tariffs on the manufacturing of food products and beverage. Vietnam will liberalize tariffs over a 10-year period and EU will liberalize them over a 7-year period. It will also set up a clear and transparent legal framework for the investments between EU and Vietnam. In addition the FTA will improve the protection of geographical indications (GIs) and intellectual property rights. It will also ensure protection of human rights and the rule of law, on line with international and European values.
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