EU backs VN’s East Sea stance, may ratify EVFTA next February
20:27 | 31/10/2019
VGP – The European Parliament may ratify the Viet Nam-EU Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA) and Investment Protection Agreement (IPA) in February next year, according to Lange Bernd, Chair of the EP Committee on International Trade.

Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc welcomes Lange Bernd, Chair of the European Parliament Committee on International Trade at the Government Office in Ha Noi on October 31, 2019. Photo: VGP

     >>> New milestone in VN-EU relations

Bernd, who is leading a delegation on a visit to Viet Nam, made the above statement at his meeting with Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc in Ha Noi on Thursday.

He said his ongoing visit aims to discuss with Vietnamese competent authorities to better understand the situation and how Viet Nam plans to fulfil its ambitious commitments.

Bernd also took the occasion to reaffirm that the EU totally supports Viet Nam’s stance on the East Sea, expressing the EU’s wish to coordinate closely with Viet Nam, especially when the Southeast Asian country takes over the UNSC non-permanent membership and ASEAN Chairmanship in 2020.

PM Phuc underlined the strategic significance of the trade and investment deals, for Viet Nam and the EU as well as for fostering open, transparent and rule-based economic connectivity.

Viet Nam and the EU signed the trade and investment agreements in Ha Noi on June 30, making the former the second ASEAN nation to sign this kind of agreements with the European Union.

Once the EVFTA takes effect, the EU will immediately eliminate 85.6% of its all import duties and 99.2% after seven years. This is the highest commitment by foreign partner so far.

The trade deal is expected to help increase Viet Nam’s GDP by 2.18-3.25% in the 2019-2023 period, and 4.57%-5.03% in the following five years.

Meanwhile, Vietnamese Ministry of Planning and Investment estimated that Viet Nam’s exports to the EU is projected to grow by 20% by 2020; 42.75 by 2025; and 44.37% by 2030.

So far, Viet Nam has signed 13 free trade agreements with external partners so far, of which the Viet Nam-EU free trade agreement (EVFTA) and the comprehensive and progressive agreement for trans-pacific partnership (CPTPP) are the “new-generation” deals with higher and broader commitments.

The Government chief also welcomed the EU’s position of advocating freedom, security and safety of navigation and aviation in the East Sea, hoping that the EU would continue its active and constructive role in the region./.

By Huong Giang

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