Vietnam presents the diplomatic note informing the National Assembly’s ratification for the EVFTA and EVIPA to the EU Delegation to Vietnam. (Photo Ministry of Foreign Affairs)

The implementation of the EVFTA is expected to boost trade and investment between the two sides and bring Vietnam-EU relations to a new height.

Over the past 30 years, through complex global and regional situations, Vietnam-EU relations have been developing continuously to be more substantive, with the Framework Agreement on Comprehensive Partnership and Cooperation (PCA) officially signed in 2012 and approved in 2016. The political cooperation between Vietnam and EU is increasingly tightened by high-level visits, exchange of delegations at all levels, and bilateral cooperation.

In the economic field, the EU is now one of Vietnam's leading trading partners with a two-way trade turnover of USD56.45 billion in 2019. Cooperation in energy, education and climate change response has also been promoted and achieved positive results. In addition, Vietnam and the EU have also worked together closely at multilateral forums and mechanisms, contributing to promoting cooperation and maintaining an international law-based order for peace, stability and development.

EVFTA negotiations started in 2012. Signed with the EU – Vietnam Investment Protection Agreement (EVIPA) in June 2019, it officially came into effect in early August, after being approved by the European Parliament (EP), the European Council (EC) and the Vietnam National Assembly. According to Chairman of the European Chamber of Commerce in Vietnam Nicolas Audier, the EVFTA is one of the most comprehensive and ambitious free trade agreements ever signed between the EU and a developing country. EVFTA will bring great and balanced economic benefits between Vietnam and the EU by removing trade barriers and tariffs; creating an open and favorable investment environment, helping businesses of both sides to access each other's potential markets. Along with that is the commitment to meet international standards in the fields of intellectual property and e-commerce. 

The implementation of EVFTA will contribute to building important cooperation frameworks, strongly promoting trade and investment relations between Vietnam and the EU. The leaders of Vietnam and the EU have affirmed the importance of the agreement, committing to work closely to effectively implement EVFTA, promoting the benefits brought by the agreement and contributing to recovering economic growth during the serious consequences caused by COVID-19. On the other hand, EVFTA also opens up new opportunities for cooperation between Vietnam and each EU member country.

The implementation of EVFTA also demonstrates the respect of Vietnam and the EU for each other's external strategy, development and integration. According to Ambassador and Head of the EU Delegation to Vietnam Pier Giorgio Aliberti, EVFTA is also the basis for moving towards a free trade agreement between the EU and ASEAN. The EVFTA expresses the EU's desire to expand its cooperation with ASEAN and participate more actively in ASEAN-led mechanisms. Accordingly, the EU supports the role of Vietnam, as ASEAN Chair 2020, in promoting cooperation between ASEAN and the EU, as well as between Vietnam and the EU.

The implementation of EVFTA will create new milestones in Vietnam's international economic integration process. It also affirms Vietnam’s and the EU’s determination to heighten and deepen comprehensive cooperation and partnership; and contribute to strengthening links between the two regions./.

Compiled by BTA