On the afternoon of June 30, the EU-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA) and the Investment Protection Agreement (IPA) have officially been signed Hanoi in the presence of Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc and leaders of the European Union (EU).
European Chamber of Commerce in Vietnam (EuroCham) stated that this historic event moves the EVFTA one step closer to ratification, ahead of a crucial vote in the European Parliament.
Once the agreement comes into force by the end of 2019, it will set a gradual elimination of almost all tariffs on goods traded between the EU and Vietnam, opening up new opportunities for investors and consumers on both sides.
EU investors will get greater access to Vietnam’s fast-growing market, and Vietnam, likewise, will be opened up to a grand market of over 500-million consumers in the EU.
While the agreement will benefit companies of all sizes and in all industries, those manufacturing and exporting textile and garment, footwear, furniture, leather goods, and agricultural produce, will be some of the biggest beneficiaries of the tariff elimination scheme and bigger market access.
Nicolas Audier, chairman of EuroCham, said: “EuroCham welcomes the decision of the Council of Ministers to approve the signature of the EVFTA. The official signing will accelerate the strong momentum behind the EVFTA and take us one step closer to ratification.”
The fact that the EVFTA is just the second agreement signed between the EU and a member of ASEAN is testament to Vietnam’s growing leadership not just in the region but also on the world stage, he added.
“The final hurdle will be a crucial vote in the European Parliament. So it is now more important than ever that we redouble our efforts to highlight the clear benefits of this agreement to ensure that it is ratified and implemented as soon as possible,” Audier noted.
The economic benefits of the EVFTA are undisputed. It will boost trade and investment, phase out tariffs and duties, and open up huge new opportunities for companies and consumers on both sides.
It will additionally help Vietnam to go further and faster on issues like labour rights and increased environmental protection.
Vu Tien Loc, president of the Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI) said that the official signing has a tremendous impact on the business community of both side.
These agreements will certainly create a breakthrough development, contribute to perfecting the legal framework and business environment and further promote the cooperation between Vietnam and the EU, thus building a foundation for sustainable development.