The European Council of the European Union (EU) on June 25 adopted decisions to sign the EU - Vietnam Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA) and the EU - Vietnam Investment Protection Agreement (EVIPA).
In a press release on the same day, the European Council announced that the signing ceremony of the agreements will take place in Hanoi on June 30, 2019. The document stated that EVFTA is the “most ambitious” free trade deal ever concluded with a developing country, whereby the two sides will cut 99% of tariff on goods from both sides.
The announcement emphasised that EVFTA and EVIPA will help EU enterprises access to the public procurement and service markets in Vietnam, while strengthening protection of EU investments in the country. As a "new generation” FTA, EVFTA also includes important provisions on intellectual property protection, investment liberalisation and sustainable development. On the last aspect, the FTA includes commitments to implement International Labour Organisation core standards and UN Conventions on Climate Change and Biodiversity.
President of the European Commission Jean-Claude Juncker has praised the decision of EU member states on signing EVFTA and EVIPA. Juncker emphasised that the decision shows the connection between Europe and Vietnam and the Southeast Asia as well, reflecting a commitment to “open, fair and rules-based trade.”
* On June 25, the Vietnamese Ministry of Industry and Trade said that the EVFTA and EVIPA were started and concluded in the context of bilateral relations between Vietnam and EU have been developing well, especially in economic development, trade and investment. When being implemented, EVFTA will be a great boost to Vietnam's exports, helping to diversify its export markets and products, especially agricultural and aquatic products as well as other Vietnamese products with competitive advantages.
Commitments to equal treatment and safe and adequate protection for each other's investments and investors in the EVIPA will also contribute positively to the construction of a transparent legal and investment environment, from which helping Vietnam attract more investors from EU and other countries.