European trade talks begin
HA NOI — The Ministry of Industry and Trade yesterday announced that the European Free Trade Association (EFTA) had recognised the market economic mechanism in Viet Nam and that negotiations had begun for a free-trade agreement.
This was the thrust of a Memorandum of Understanding signed yesterday by Minister of Industry and Trade Vu Huy Hoang and Norwegian Ambassador Stale Torstein Risa. Norwy is acting as EFTA co-ordinator.
The ministry said recognition of Viet Nam's market economy by EFTA and another 30 countries proved that efforts in economic restructuring and integration had worked. It added that the agreement would match the principles of the World Trade Organisation in the trading of goods and services and in investments.
EFTA, founded in 1960, is an intergovernmental organisation set up for the promotion of free trade and economic integration. — VNS