National Assembly deliberates over ratification of EU trade deal

06:00 | 10/06/2020 Cooperation

(VEN) - The National Assembly officially examined the ratification of the EU-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA) at the opening sitting of the 14th National Assembly’s ninth session on May 20.

national assembly deliberates over ratification of eu trade deal

Ensuring full and effective enforcement

Minister of Industry and Trade Tran Tuan Anh presented deputies with a report clarifying the treaty provisions and its status. He said the European Parliament consented to the trade deal on February 12 and the Council of the EU gave its final approval to the agreement on March 30. The Council of the EU sent a diplomatic note on April 24, informing Vietnam that the EU had completed the final legal procedure according to the internal EU approval process. The new-generation free trade agreement will officially take effect for both the EU and Vietnam after the Vietnamese National Assembly ratifies and the two sides complete the notification procedures under the agreement, he said.

The conclusion of negotiations and signing required the party and state’s great efforts and determination, as well as close and effective coordination among all levels, with the goals of soaring EU-Vietnam trade relations to new heights and promoting Vietnam’s international economic integration.

Once the EVFTA comes into effect, it will help exporters find new markets, expand trade and production activities, and speed up development. Vietnamese businesses will be offered opportunities to access new supply chains in order to replace traditional ones that have been disrupted due to Covid-19.

Regarding the UK, the country was still an EU member when the EVFTA was signed. According to the UK-EU Withdrawal Agreement, when the UK left the EU on January 31, 2020, it entered a transition period until at least December 31. Until then, it will be business as usual for citizens, consumers, businesses, investors, students and researchers in both the EU and the UK. Therefore, if the EVFTA comes into effect during the transition period, the UK will still enjoy Vietnam’s commitments within the treaty framework, and vice versa, until the end of the transition period.

In terms of legal amendments to comply with the EVFTA, the Law on Intellectual Property Rights passed in 2005, amended and supplemented in 2009, and the 2010 Law on Insurance Business need to be amended and supplemented.

national assembly deliberates over ratification of eu trade deal

According to Tran Tuan Anh, the government assigned the Ministry of Industry and Trade to finalize the legal framework for EVFTA implementation, including an action plan. Once the National Assembly ratifies the deal, the draft action plan will continue to be revised and finalized for submission to the government for official promulgation, he said. The Minister of Industry and Trade’s report clarifying the trade deal and its status achieved high consensus from the National Assembly deputies.

Deputies’ opinions

The deputies hailed government efforts to conclude trade deals, including the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) and the EVFTA.

Deputy Vu Tien Loc from Thai Binh Province said the EVFTA includes the highest level of commitment that a partner has ever offered to Vietnam, provides the biggest market and widest interactivity for the country.

Deputy Tran Hoang Ngan from Ho Chi Minh City said EVFTA implementation would help Vietnam strongly attract investment capital from the EU. Deputy Truong Trong Nghia from Ho Chi Minh City said the trade deal would “start a race, not a party. Vietnam could get stuck in the middle-income trap. Under this scenario, others would enjoy the party and we would bear the debt.”

Deputy Nguyen Minh Son from Tien Giang Province said the EVFTA would help increase the country’s competitiveness as well as that of local enterprises and commodities.

Quang Loc & Dinh Dung