EU signs trade agreements
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The European Commission and the Vietnamese Government have announced the signature of new Free Trade and Investment Protection Agreements. These arrangements are said to mark a milestone in the EU-Vietnam business relationship, as they are expected to promote economic development as well as reinforcing trade and investment ties.
In a joint press release, the two parties called the understanding ‘the most ambitious free trade deal between the EU and an emerging economy to date’. The new agreements require a joint commitment to ‘open, fair and rules-based trade liberalisation and economic integration’.
The agreements will now be passed to Vietnam’s National Assembly and the European Parliament for ratification. In addition, the Investment Protection Agreement will be presented to the respective national parliaments of the EU Member States.
According to the joint declaration, both sides share a strong commitment to the effective implementation of both agreements, and are said to be cooperating closely to ensure full compliance with their necessary obligations. The EU will reportedly support Vietnam through technical assistance in order to define and follow up on an implementation plan, in order to facilitate all the necessary reforms and adjustments.
A trade agreement has also been reached between the EU and the ‘Mercosur’ countries of Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay and Uruguay, which finally brings to a close some two decades of negotiations. Hopes are being expressed that European shoemakers will benefit in the future, although the elimination of customs duties on footwear is not expected to come into force for a number of years.
This article was originally published on page 2 of the September 2019 issue of SATRA Bulletin.