European Parliament approves EU - Vietnam Free Trade Agreement
The European Parliament approved the Free Trade Agreement between the European Union and Vietnam. A large majority (401 to 192, with 40 abstentions) voted in favour last Wednesday February 12. The Council of the EU signed the agreement last summer in Hanoi. The FTA is expected to enter into force in the course of the year.
Virtually all customs tariffs will be abolished over the next decade, of which two thirds will already be in force at the commencement date. This will give a substantial boost to mutual trade of some €50 billion. According to the EU, this is the most ambitious trade agreement ever that is made with a developing country. The agreements would lead to better working conditions and human rights in Vietnam.
European companies will have access to the Vietnamese procurement and services market. The Asian country, with some 100 million consumers, undertakes not to counterfeit products that are protected in the EU.