|The EU-Vietnam free trade agreement is awaiting the ratification of the Vietnam National Assembly slated for May 2020
The information was confirmed by the Ministry of Industry and Trade that has done a lot of necessary paperwork for the deal to get through.
The ministry has worked closely with relevant bodies, including the Government’s Office and the President’s Office, to complete the President's report to the National Assembly. It has closely followed the EU ratification of the deal, as well as the British departure from the EU, to promptly update changes relating to Vietnam’s EVFTA ratification.
At its April 21 verification session, the National Assembly Committee for Foreign Affairs questioned Trade Minister Tran Tuan Anh over the deal-related issues. The ratification of the deal was also given the green light at last week’s session of the National Assembly Standing Committee in the lead up to the plenary session of the legislature scheduled to open on May 20.
The EVFTA was ratified by the European Parliament in February 2020 before it was endorsed by the European Council one month later, completing the final legal procedure within the bloc.
The deal provides for the almost complete (99%) elimination of customs duties between the two sides. About 65% of duties on EU exports to Vietnam will disappear as soon as the deal enters into force, while the remainder will be phased out gradually over a period of up to 10 years.
As regards Vietnamese exports to the EU, 71% of duties will disappear upon entry into force, the remainder being abolished over a period of up to 7 years.
The FTA will also reduce many of the existing non-tariff barriers to trade with Vietnam and open up Vietnamese services and public procurement markets to EU companies.
Minister Tran Tuan Anh says the ratification of the EVFTA will open up numerous opportunities for Vietnamese products to access the EU market, especially when Vietnamese exports have taken the brunt of the novel coronavirus pandemic (COVID-19).
According to the minister, Europe is a huge lucrative market, and the ratification of the EVFTA will make it easier for key Vietnamese products such as textiles, footwear, electronics, seafood, and woodworks to enter the EU market.
Meanwhile, the Ministry of Planning and Investment has forecast once the deal takes effect, slated for July 2020, Vietnam’s export value would increase by approximately 20% this year, 42.7% by 2025 and 44% by 2030. At the same time, imports from the EU are projected to rise by 15% this year, 33% by 2025 and 36.7% by 2030.