Final round of EVFTA negotiations achieves progress

(VOV) - The final round of the EU-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA) negotiations took place on January 19-23 in Brussels, Belgium.

The Vietnamese delegation was led by Deputy Minister of Industry and Trade Tran Quoc Khanh, while the EU chief negotiator was Deputy Director General Mauro Petriccione of the European Commission.

Ministry of Industry and Trade's Multilateral Commercial Department Head Luong Hoang Thai said the final round of EVFTA negotiations progressed well, demonstrated by the concerted efforts to deal with several problems carried over from the previous rounds, including the thorny issue on foreign investors' participation in public procurement.

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In the final round, both parties focused on market access package to meet their fundamental interests. Vietnam asked the EU to facilitate Vietnamese products’ easier access to the EU market in the future, Thai added.

Chief negotiators agreed to submit negotiation results to senior leaders to accelerate the early signing of the trade pact as soon as practical.

As the world largest economy with 28 members, the EU’s total GDP amounts to US$18,000 billion, or 22% of the global GDP. Its trade value is estimated at US$4,000 billion, with service exports taking the top spot in the global market. 

EU member countries inject a huge amount of investment into the world economy, accounting for nearly 40% of the global foreign direct investment (FDI) cash flows.

By the end of 2013, the EU poured US$18,024 billion into 1,402 FDI projects in Vietnam, ranking 6th among Vietnam's largest foreign investors.

The signing of the EVFTA is expected to help Vietnam increase its GDP by 10-15% from to the current figure, elevate Vietnamese exports to the EU market by 30-40% and imports by 20-25%.