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EU-Vietnam trade agreement

The college of commissioners adopted the EU-Vietnam trade and investment agreement on Wednesday (17 October). Now the deal has to be ratified by the Council and the European Parliament.

The successful conclusion of the negotiations followed member states’ green light to sign trade and investment pacts with Singapore on Thursday.

“By adopting them a few hours before welcoming the participants in the ASEM-EU Summit in Brussels, the Commission shows its commitment to open trade and engagement with Asia,” Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker said.

The executive also welcomed the conclusion as a positive signal in times when international trade is “under serious threat”, Malmström said.

But despite the progress made with two of the most dynamic ASEAN members, the region-to-region agreement is not within reach yet.

“We are still discussing this,” Malmström told reporters.

End of tariffs 

The EU-Vietnam agreement will eliminate 99% of customs duties on goods traded between the two sides. Vietnam will remove 65% of import duties on EU exports upon entry into force of the agreement, with the remainder of duties gradually eliminated over a 10-year period.

It will open the Vietnamese market for services in the field of communications, engineering or environment.

Besides, a total of 169 geographical indications of European food and drink products, including Rioja wine or Roquefort cheese, would be protected.

EU companies will also participate on an equal footing with local companies in procurement tenders.

Read more on EURACTIV.