The Hanoitimes - Vietnam’s Minister of Industry and Trade Vu Huy Hoang and the EU’s Trade Commissioner Karel De Gutch officially began negotiations for a Free Trade Agreement between the two sides in Brussels, Belgium, on June 26.
The Hanoitimes - Vietnam ’s Minister of Industry and Trade Vu Huy Hoang and the EU’s Trade Commissioner Karel De Gutch officially began negotiations for a Free Trade Agreement between the two sides in Brussels , Belgium , on June 26.
When delivering a speech prior to the talks, Commissioner De Gutch said this is an important milestone in relations between the EU and Vietnam as well as the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN).
“I’m delighted to announce the opening of trade negotiations with Vietnam ,” he said.
“ Vietnam is our third partner in the ASEAN region after Singapore and Malaysia , with whom we launch individual negotiations.”
According to the EU Trade Commissioner, the first round of negotiations should take place just after the summer break.
When reviewing the development of Vietnam-EU relations, Minister Hoang said that Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung and EC President Jose Manuel Barroso agreed to start negotiating a FTA as soon as the details of working teams were completed during the Prime Minister’s visit to the EC on the occasion of the eighth Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM) in October, 2010.
Both parties discussed the terms of reference for negotiating the EU-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA), especially the commitment requirements and capacity of both signatories.
They reached a consensus at a meeting on the sidelines of the 20th ASEAN Summit in Phnom Penh , Cambodia on March 31, 2012.
The EVFTA is a comprehensive free trade agreement that accommodates the principles of the World Trade Organisation (WTO) for the benefit of all. It covers fields such as goods, services, investment and other areas of mutual concern.
During the negotiating process, they will also examine the differences in development between Vietnam and the EU, said the minister.