EU-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement to provide fillip to exports: minister

By Anh Minh   June 26, 2019 | 11:11 am GMT+7
EU-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement to provide fillip to exports: minister
​The EU is Vietnam’s second-largest export market after the U.S. Photo by Reuters/Kham.

The EU will eliminate 99.7 percent of tariff lines for Vietnam's exports in seven years after the EVFTA comes into force.

Up to 70.3 percent of Vietnamese products exported to the EU would be free of tariffs immediately, Minister of Industry and Trade Tran Tuan Anh told correspondents on Tuesday. Only 42 percent now enjoys zero tariffs.

In response, Vietnam will eliminate tariffs on 64.5 percent of imports from the EU, rising to 97.1 percent in seven years. "This is the highest commitment a free trade agreement partner has ever given us," he said. 

Vietnam will be able to increase its exports of textiles, footwear, agriculture produce, and seafood, he said. The Ministry of Planning and Investment has estimated that exports to the EU will be 20 percent higher next year and almost 44.4 percent higher in 2030.

Imports from the EU will also rise but at a slower pace of 15.28 percent next year and 36.7 percent in 2030.

Last year Vietnam exported goods worth $41.88 billion to the market, up 9.42 percent from 2017, while its imports were worth $13.89 billion, up 13.95 percent.

Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc announced on Tuesday that the agreement will be signed in Hanoi on June 30.

The deal will be submitted to the European Parliament for consent later this year. It is likely to be ratified by the National Assembly of Vietnam by the end of this year or early next year, Anh said.

The EU is Vietnam’s second-largest export market after the U.S., with key exports including clothing and food products. The EVFTA is the EU’s first comprehensive open markets deals with a developing Asian country.

 
 
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