14:49 | 27/05/2015 Cooperation
(VEN) - At a recent press conference which coincided with his visit to Vietnam, Chairman of the European Parliament’s Committee on International Trade, Bernd Lange, spoke highly of Vietnam’s economic reform efforts and showed his confidence in the successful outcome of negotiations on the EU-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA). Vietnam Economic News’ reporter Nguyen Huong spoke with him about how the negotiations are progressing.
Could you tell about the negotiations on the EVFTA? What issues are still remaining?
So far, the two parties have agreed on many important issues. However, a number of issues remain relating to the free circulation of goods, development of the state economic sector, and foreign investment.
Between now and June, both sides will try to complete final negotiations to resolve the remaining issues related to the particularities of the Vietnamese and EU economies.
We hope that Vietnam will quickly deal with market access issues to ensure free circulation of goods and services and policies on governmental procurements, and to create a fairer environment for all economic sectors.
I personally believe in the success of the negotiations which would lead to the rapid adoption of the FTA for the benefit of both sides.
What are your comments on Vietnam’s efforts in negotiations on the EVFTA?
Vietnam has carried out strong reforms to benefit businesses and the economy, while building a stable society and progressively improving the investment environment and developing human factors. In addition, it has made positive amendments to its constitution and investment law. This has provided a strong basis for the country to integrate into the international market, while showing the Vietnamese government’s determination to integrate globally.
Bernd Lange expects that the FTA between Vietnam and the EU will be adopted this coming June, after the final negotiation round takes place. In order for this to happen, the two parties must reach unanimity on all aspects of the negotiations.
What areas do you think will benefit most from the EVFTA?
After the FTA is adopted, Vietnamese garments, leather and footwear – and particularly farm produce – will receive great benefits. Meanwhile, a wide array of the EU’s exports to Vietnam which are currently subject to high taxes will enjoy benefits in terms of tax cuts.
Climate change is also a matter of concern to both parties. For this reason, the FTA is expected to encourage hi-tech EU businesses to invest in Vietnam.
What does Vietnam need to do to quickly adopt the FTA with the EU?
Firstly, Vietnam needs to ensure transparency and make specific commitments to implement the FTA following the itinerary. In addition, the country needs to meet five criteria to be recognized as a fully market-oriented economy including ensuring transparency, running a law-governed state and observing legal regulations, and having stable currency. Vietnam should also take stronger measures to apply a fair treatment policy towards foreign investors so that EU investors in the country will feel confident about being treated in a fair manner.