7th negotiation round of Vietnam – EU Free Trade Agreement26/05/2014
The 7th negotiation round of Vietnam – EU Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA) was held from March 17 to 26, 2014 in Hanoi. Two sides have been active in accelerating negotiation in all aspects, especially is the fields both sides have benefits in.
Vietnamese Delegation of representatives from Ministries and branches led by Deputy Minister of Industry and Trade, Head of Government’s Negotiation Delegation on international economic and commercial integration, Tran Quoc Khanh, participated in the negotiation round. Negotiation was conducted at Head Delegation level, Deputy Head Delegation level and at 10 Working Groups including Trade in Goods, Trade in Service, Investment, Rule of Origin, SPS, Trade Protectionism, Sustainable development, Legislation – Institutions...
On occasion of negotiation round, EU Trade Commissioner Karel De Gucht had visit to Vietnam for negotiation accelerating and promoting trade, investment between Vietnam and EU. In the talk between Minister of Industry and Trade Vu Huy Hoang and EU Trade Commissioner, Vietnam and EU affirmed determination on soon finalizing the comprehensive and high quality agreement. In spirit of negotiation accelerating as affirmed by EU Trade Commissioner, Technical Groups had open-minded and constructive negotiation.
During negotiation session, Groups continued having discussion on consolidated text based on in-depth and detail exchange on view and approach to specific issues, having further introduction on legal system for clarifying proposals and requests. Groups on Trade in Goods, Trade in Service and Government’s procurement had further negotiation on offers and request in respective aspects.
Wrapping negotiation round, Technical Groups such as transparency, dispute settlement have basically agreed on the text. Remaining Groups had narrowed the gap in many questions. Black-bone and complicated issues directly impacting negotiation schedule have been exchanged by Heads of Negotiation Delegations on solving roadmap for finding out appropriate solutions satisfactory to expectation of both sides, targeting on benefit-balancing based positive progresses.
EU is the second largest trade partner and the largest export market of Vietnam. Characteristics in import – export structure between Vietnam and EU is the high level of mutual complement and less direct competition. In 2013, two-way trade turnover between Vietnam and EU reached 33.8 billion USD, increasing by 16.11% over the figure of 2012, in which export to and import from EU were respectively 24.4 billion USD and 9.4 billion USD. Main exports to EU include garments, footwear, coffee, wooden items, aqua-products. EU is also the big investor in Vietnam. In 2013 registered capital invested in Vietnam by EU businesses was over 17 billion USD with nearly 1400 projects. EU investors are present in most pivotal economic sectors, mainly in industries, construction and service sub-sector.