“This historic milestone signals the start of a new relationship with the European Union,” said a EuroCham official.
The EU-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA), which has just been approved by the Vietnamese parliament this morning [June 8] represents a true ‘win-win’ not just for European and Vietnamese enterprises; but also for citizens on both sides, said Chairman of EuroCham Vietnam Nicolas Audier.
“EuroCham welcomes the positive vote on the EVFTA and EVIPA in the National Assembly… This historic milestone signals the start of a new relationship with the European Union,” Audier said in a statement shortly after the approval by the Vietnamese National Assembly (NA).
The NA passed the EVFTA with the backing of all 457 National Assembly deputies present while the Investment Protection Agreement (EVIPA) was endorsed by 95.45% of the deputies.
The EVFTA would enter into force 30 days after the mutual notification between Vietnam and the EU on the completion of their respective legal procedures. Meanwhile, the EVIPA will be implemented later, following ratification in each individual EU member state.
“This agreement represents a vote of confidence in Vietnam, as it is just the second ASEAN nation to sign an FTA with the EU. It will usher in an era of increased trade and investment, and begin the process of phasing out almost 99% of tariff lines and barriers to trade over the next decade. It will also open up new markets to European investment and innovation, and promote sustainable development in Vietnam,” Audier commented.
“The EVFTA is now more important than ever, as trade wars and a global pandemic disrupt normal business operations on an unprecedented scale. Free, fair and rules-based trade is the best roadmap to economic growth, and Vietnam will now have privileged access to an EU consumer market of around 500 million people who will be keen to do business with and invest in a strong, secure, and prosperous nation at the heart of Asia.
“Now, the next step is to ensure a smooth and effective implementation. EuroCham, its 17 Sector Committees and one thousand members look forward to working hand-in-hand with Vietnam to ensure that all sides can unlock the full potential of the EVFTA now and in the future,” Audier concluded.
Vietnam and the EU’s economies are complementary, with Vietnam exporting mainly consumer goods to the 28-member bloc while the Southeast Asian country imports mainly pharmaceuticals, machinery and hi-tech items.