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Vietnam-EU FTA to take effect in 2018
Dec '15
Vietnam and the European Union will have two years for preparation before a bilateral trade pact reached earlier this month officially enters into force, Bruno Angelet, EU Ambassador to Vietnam, said in Hanoi, a Vietnamese news website has reported.

The Vietnam-EU Free Trade Agreement (VEFTA), which was signed in Brussels on December 2 after nearly three years with 14 rounds of negotiation, will remove nearly all tariffs between the Southeast Asian country and the grouping once implemented. Vietnam and the EU concurred to complete the ratification process of the deal as soon as possible to put the pact into effect on the outset of 2018.

The trade pact illustrates the EU's aspiration to be an important partner in Vietnam's sustainable development, Angelet told reporters.

The EU is now Vietnam's second-biggest trade partner, after China, and stands only behind the US as the second-largest export market of the Southeast Asian nation, according to the EU envoy.

Earlier this year the EU also became the third-largest foreign investor in Vietnam, compared to the sixth place in 2014, Angelet said.

Vietnam exports mobile phones and other electronics, footwear and textiles, and agro-produce – including coffee, rice and seafood to the EU, while importing high-tech products like electrical machinery and equipment, aircraft, vehicles and pharmaceuticals from EU countries.

The VEFTA, the first of its kind to be reached between the EU and a developing country, will lift more than 99 per cent of tariffs on goods traded between the two parties over a period of up to seven years.

Vietnam has ten years to eliminate tariffs for the EU, which Angelet said is an opportunity for Vietnamese exporters to better prepare for their penetration into the European market.

Angelet said he hoped that the VEFTA will enable Vietnam to improve its competitiveness compared to other ASEAN nations. (SH)

Fibre2Fashion News Desk – India

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