Four-day discussions are focused on the exchange of goods and services, investment, intellectual property, labour, and the environment, among others.
After the success of the first round, the second round is expected to speed up bilateral negotiations as agreed upon by top leaders of the two sides.
The Vietnamese delegation is led by Deputy Minister of Industry and Trade Tran Quoc Khanh, and the EU delegation is headed by Mauro Petriccone, Director for Asia and Latin America of the Directorate General for Trade of the European Commission.
In October 2010 leaders of Vietnam and the EU agreed to conduct bilateral negotiations of an FTA after completing technical matters.
In June 2012 Vietnamese Minister of Industry and Trade Vu Huy Hoang and EU Trade Commissioner Karel De Gutch announced the start of the negotiations, and the first round took place in Hanoi from October 8-10, 2012.
Both sides plan to conduct four rounds of negotiations in 2013.
The EU is Vietnam’s largest export market, consuming US$20.3 billion worth of Vietnamese goods in 2012.
Once the FTA is signed, it will help promote trade and investment cooperation between Vietnam and the EU, bringing practical benefits to both business communities and peoples.