The Vietnamese National Assembly will vote on the ratification of the EU-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA) at its ninth session taking place in the middle of April.
The National Assembly Standing Committee (NASC) proposed the government to assign ministries and relevant agencies to complete the dossier on the ratification of the EU-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement (EVTA) to submit to the NASC at its 44th session scheduled for mid-April.
Previously, at the government’s general meeting in February, the government asked the Ministry of Industry and Trade (MoIT) to complete the dossier and submit it to the National Assembly for approval at the ninth session. Besides, the MoIT was tasked to build a strategy to implement the trade deal as well as programmes to guide enterprises in learning of and seizing the opportunities and incentives of the agreement, especially to draw up plans to penetrate the seafood and agricultural products segments in Europe.
The European Council ratified the EVFTA on March 30, paving the way for the deal to come into force.
The ratification by Vietnam’s National Assembly is one of the two final steps for the EVFTA to take effect. The trade deal will officially take effect 30 days after the two sides have completed the procedures and notified each other.
On February 12, the European Parliament approved the European Union’s free trade agreement with Vietnam with 401 votes in favour, 192 votes against, and 40 abstentions.
The agreement will remove virtually all customs duties between the two parties over the next 10 years, including on Europe’s main export products to Vietnam.
Vietnam is the EU’s second-largest trade partner in the ASEAN after Singapore, with trade in goods worth €47.6 billion ($51.9 billion) a year and €3.6 billion ($3.9 billion) when it comes to services. EU exports to the country grow by 5-7 per cent annually, yet the EU’s trade deficit with Vietnam was €27 billion ($29.44 billion) in 2018.
The main EU imports from Vietnam include telecommunications equipment, clothing, and food products. The EU mainly exports goods such as machinery and transport equipment, chemicals, and agricultural products to Vietnam.
Source: Vietnam Investment Review