Vietnam, EU show efforts to soon put EVFTA in place
Updated : Thursday, October 18, 2018 4:30 PM (GMT+0700)

Vietnamand the European Union (EU) demonstrated their efforts to push the earlysigning, ratification and implementation of their free trade agreement andInvestment Protection Agreement (IPA) during Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc’songoing visit to Europe. 

Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc (left) and EP President Antonio Tajani - Photo: VNA

On October 17 noon, theEuropean Commission (EC) agreed to submit the EU-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement(EVFTA) to the European Council to seek its approval for the signing of thedeal slated for late 2018 and to the European Parliament (EP) for ratificationin 2019. 

At a press conference onOctober 17 afternoon, the EU affirmed its commitment to putting the document inplace as soon as possible. 

During his trip, PM Phuc heldtalks with Chancellor Sebastian Kurz of Austria, which is assuming the EU Presidency,and with Prime Minister Charles Michel of Belgium, which accommodates EUagencies. 

He also met with other leadersand businesspeople of the two countries, and delivered speeches at businessforums, calling for the implementation of these documents. 

The same day, the PM had ameeting with Bernd Lange, Chairman of the EP’s International TradeCommittee. 

He applauded the role andcontributions of Lange to enhancing the partnership between Vietnam and the EUin general and between the Vietnamese National Assembly and the EP inparticular. 

Lange expressed his delight atthe EC’s decision to send the EVFTA to the European Council for signing, sayingthis is an important step so the EP can begin the ratification process. 

He affirmed his support forall-round cooperation between Vietnam and the EU. 

During his meeting with EPPresident Antonio Tajani the same day, PM Phuc praised the fruitful relationsbetween the Vietnamese legislature and the EP, saying Vietnam considers it animportant pillar of the Vietnam-EU comprehensive cooperation.  

For his part, Tajani stressedthe EP will make efforts to ratify the documents in early 2019, which, he said,would support both sides and benefit trade in Europe and Asia. 

The EP will continue with itssupport for the implementation of cooperation programmes between the EU andVietnam, as well as Vietnam’s sustainable development, he said. 

He lauded cooperation betweenthe EU and Vietnam at international forums and organisations, affirming hissupport for efforts to maintain peace and security, avoid escalating tensionand respect interests of parties concerned in the East Sea on the basis ofinternational law. 

The EC’s adoption of the EVFTAahead of the 12th Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM) Summit, which opens onOctober 18, has demonstrated all sides’ efforts to step up connectivity betweenAsia and Europe. 

In a press release, the EUcited EC President Jean-Claude Juncker as saying that the trade andinvestment agreements with Vietnam are exemplary of Europe's trade policy. Theybring unprecedented benefits to European and Vietnamese companies, workers andconsumers. 

“By adopting them a few hoursbefore welcoming the participants to the ASEM Summit in Brussels, thecommission shows its commitment to open trade and engagement with Asia”, hesaid. 

Juncker said he expectsthe EP and EU member states to work to ensure the agreements enter into forceas soon as possible.

EC Commissioner for TradeCecilia Malmström said Vietnam is one of the fastest-growing economiesin Southeast Asia, with a vibrant market of more than 95 million consumers, anemerging middle class and a young, dynamic workforce.

She expressed her hope the EPand EU member countries will approve the agreements swiftly to allowbusinesses, workers, farmers and consumers to reap the benefits as soon aspossible.


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