Recommendations for EVFTA, EVIPA given the go-ahead (21 January 2020)
The European Parliament’s International Trade (INTA) Committee on Tuesday passed recommendations to adopt the Việt Nam-European Union (EU) Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA) with 29 delegates voting in favour, six opposing the motion and five abstaining.
The same day, the committee also gave recommendations to adopt the Việt Nam-EU Investment Protection Agreement (EVIPA) with 26 of 39 members saying yes.
Later, in February, the recommendations and consent of the agreements will be voted for at the Parliament’s plenary session.
Assuming the Parliament gives its consent in February, the EVFTA will come into force one month after Việt Nam and the EU have notified each other that legal procedures have been completed.
Meanwhile, the EVIPA will still have to be ratified by all member states which can take several years.
The EVFTA includes 17 chapters, two protocols and a number of accompanying memorandums of understandings on trade in goods and services, investment, trade remedies, competition, state-owned enterprises, government procurement and intellectual property.
In terms of tariffs, after the EVFTA comes into effect, the EU will remove nearly 86 per cent of tariff lines and more than 99 per cent of tariff lines will be eliminated after seven years.
Currently, the EU is Việt Nam's 5th biggest foreign investor. The figure is expected to increase significantly in the near future as 62 per cent of investors from the EU have a positive opinion of doing business in the Southeast Asian country, experts have said.
Reuters cited Belgian lawmaker Geert Bourgeois, who led discussions in parliament, as saying that Tuesday’s vote was a positive signal to the ASEAN region and the rest of the world in times of rising trade tensions.
“This deal really is a win-win situation. In absolute terms Vietnamese exports of goods and services to the EU will increase by 15 billion euros while EU exports to Việt Nam augment by 8.3 billion euros by 2035,” he said.