The European Commission has given green light to the trade and investment agreement with Vietnam, paving the way for their signature and conclusion. The agreement, which will eliminate duties on goods, is legally linked to sustainable development. Starting with respect for human rights, labour law, environmental protection, and the fight against climate change with an explicit reference to the Paris Agreement.
THE EFFECT ON EU AND VIETNAM TRADE
The agreement will eliminate more than 99% of customs duties on goods traded between the two parties. Vietnam will eliminate 65% of import duties on EU exports. The rest of the duties will be phased out over a period of 10 years – to take account of the fact that it is a developing country. The agreement also contains specific provisions to protect Geographical Indications in Vietnam, starting with 169 European PDO and PGI food and wine products.
THE NEXT STEPS
“This is the most ambitious agreement ever concluded with a developing country. It is a milestone that opens the way to other agreements” with the Asian region, said EU Trade Commissioner Cecilia Malmstroem. Thus inviting the European Parliament and the European Council to give their consent to the agreement. This time they will decide in place of the national parliaments. The decision in Brussels takes place on the eve of the summit with the Asian countries of Asem and Asean.