14:20 | 25/06/2015 Trade
The progress on and quality of negotiations for an EU-Vietnam free trade agreement (EVFTA) have been ensured, making the target for the conclusion of the talks feasible, Minister of Industry and Trade Vu Huy Hoang said following his working session with EU Commissioner for Trade Cecilia Malmstrom in Brussels on June 23.
Minister of Industry and Trade Vu Huy Hoang (Source: VNA)
The two sides are coming close to completing the talks three years after the launch of negotiations and 13 official negotiation rounds and a number of mid-term ones, the minister said.
The efforts of Vietnam ’s negotiation team have paid off, he said, adding that there are few remaining issues in the talks.
The minister held that the EVFTA is a comprehensive, high-quality and new generation deal covering a large number of matters, including the opening of markets, services, investments, intellectual property, geographical indications and public procurement.
Once the agreement is signed and become effective, it is crucial to popularise it to the public, first of all the business community to make them aware of both benefits and challenges generated by the deal, he said.
Besides communicating the agreement to the public, State management agencies should consult the business community, organisations and inpiduals on optimising the advantages of the deal and enacting measures to respond to its impacts, added the minister.
He also advised enterprises to stay active in increasing their competitiveness to make full use of the agreement not only in the domestic market but also in the European market.
Opportunities brought about by the EVFTA are abundant, he asserted, noting that the EU is currently Vietnam ’s second largest trade partner. Meanwhile, Vietnam is a gateway for EU enterprises to a 600 million-strong ASEAN market with a GDP of 2.5 trillion USD, he said.
Once the agreement takes effect, Vietnam ’s import-export revenue is expected to rise by 4-6 percent compared to normal, he held, adding that the two sides’ economies can supplement each other as Vietnam needs machinery and equipment from the EU while the EU needs agricultural and processed products which are Vietnam ’s strength.
Vietnam also welcomes EU investors in high technology and high added value projects, he added./.