Free trade will help Vietnam integrate into the global economy


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The Free Trade Agreement with the European Union will help Vietnam successfully integrate into the global economy, said Bernd Lange, Chairman of the European Parliament's Committee on International Trade (INTA), at a meeting with the press as part of his visit to Vietnam last week.

President of the European Parliament's Committee on International Trade (INTA), Bernd Lange (left) at the meeting with Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc on 14 September in Hanoi. 

On 2 December 2015, Vietnam and the European Union (EU) reached the conclusion of negotiations on a free trade agreement that would eliminate almost all tariffs on goods traded between the two economies. The agreement, whose entry into force  "is expected in 2018" , noted Bernd Lange, presents significant progress for the signatory countries, benefiting from the sustainable development and the strengthening of the economic relations between the parties concerned.

However, the negotiating teams still have to work to remove the remaining technical barriers and finalize the text at the legal level. Once this step has been taken, the agreement will still have to be approved on the European side by the Council representing the Member States and by the European Parliament. 

Currently, the ratification process is accelerated by the EU for the EU-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA) to be effective in summer 2018, the European official said. 

During his meeting with Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc, Bernd Lange proposed that both sides should resolve all outstanding issues over the next eight or nine months in order to obtain the favorable opinion of the European Parliament.

Bernd Lange also highlighted the important commitments to be respected. First, Vietnam should soon ratify eight fundamental conventions of the International Labor Organization to ensure that the agreement will equitably benefit each of the parties. Secondly, the EU and Vietnam should commit to achieving economic benefits on the basis of maintaining environmental security. Third, there is a need to strengthen the role of stakeholders in the process of monitoring the implementation of the EVFTA.



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