The EU’s Council of Ministers has approved a pending EU-Vietnam trade and investment deal set to be signed this Sunday, 30 June.
The EU-Vietnam trade and investment agreement, which will be signed by Commissioner for Trade Cecilia Malmström and Romanian Minister for Business, Trade and Entrepreneurship Ștefan-Radu Oprea on behalf of the EU in Hanoi on Sunday, is expected to unlock significant benefits for businesses, employees and consumers both in the EU and Vietnam. The majority of customs duties on the trade of goods between the two regions are to be eliminated; while companies based in the EU will be able to compete for tenders in Vietnam on the same level as domestic companies.
Commissioner Malmström said: “I am very pleased to see that Member States have given a green light to our trade and investment agreements with Vietnam. Vietnam is a vibrant and promising market of more than 95 million consumers and both sides have much to gain from stronger trade relations. Beyond the clear economic benefits, this deal also aims to strengthen respect for human rights as well as protecting the environment and workers’ rights. I welcome Vietnam’s engagement in the process so far – their recent ratification of the International Labour Organisation Convention on collective bargaining is an excellent example of how trade agreements can encourage higher standards.”
As part of the EU-Vietnam trade and investment deal, Vietnam has agreed to adhere to the terms of the Paris climate agreement, as well as to strengthen its labour protection legislation in order to more fully protect workers’ rights.
President of the European Commission Jean-Claude Juncker said: “I welcome the decision taken today by EU Member States. After Singapore, the agreements with Vietnam are the second to have been concluded between the EU and a Southeast Asian country, and represent stepping stones to a greater engagement between Europe and the region. It is also a political statement by two partners and friends standing together for open, fair and rules-based trade.”