10:34 | 09/03/2015 Trade
Vietnam is a friendly and reliable partner of the EU and the Free Trade Agreement being negotiated will promote growth for both sides, a senior European Commission official has said.
Joseph Waldstein Wartenberg, spokesman for the EC's Trade Office, told the Vietnam News Agency reporter in Brussels that the signing of the Agreement of Partnership and Cooperation and the FTA negotiations are positive signs in bilateral ties as Vietnam and the EU celebrate the 25th anniversary of diplomatic ties this year.
Vietnam and EU are set to continue the 12th round of negotiations on the EU-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement on March 24 in Hanoi.
It is scheduled to be the last session before the negotiations are concluded and the agreement signed.
Wartenberg praised Vietnam's young and abundant population and its economy, which he said was among the fastest-growing in the Southeast Asian region.
EU is the second largest trade partner of Vietnam behind China, with Vietnam-EU trade reaching 27 billion euros in 2013. Vietnam is the fourth largest trading partner of EU in ASEAN and the 30th in the world.
Vietnamese exports to EU increased by 28% during the 2009-2013 period.
Warternberg said that besides tax and trade barriers, negotiations would focus on legal issues, competitiveness and other issues related to intellectual property rights.
To prevent Vietnam from becoming a low-skilled labour market after signing the FTA, he said there will be a chapter on sustainable commerce and development, including commitments under norms set by the International Labour Organisation.
Other regulations on the labour and investment environment as well as a legal framework involving civil organisations will also be negotiated.
Alongside these, Vietnam needs to be committed to protecting and managing sustainably its biopersity and its forests, preventing illegal logging as part of its efforts to fight climate change, he added.
Source VOV News