|The agreement will help EU companies access the 90-million-strong Vietnamese market, boosting bilateral cooperation. It will also allow the European Union to improve its position and role in Southeast Asia and the Asia-Pacific. — Photo vneconomictimes.com|Viet Nam News
BRUSSELS — The Vietnamese Embassy in Belgium held a workshop in Brussels on June 20 to speed up the signing and ratification of the European Union (EU)-Việt Nam Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA).
The workshop was held in collaboration with the European Union, EU-Việt Nam Friendship Parliamentarians’ Group and European Institute for Asian Studies.
Speaking at the event, Vietnamese ambassador to Brussels Vũ Anh Quang highlighted the positive results of economic, trade and investment cooperation between Việt Nam and the European Union and called for the Union’s strengthened collaboration with Việt Nam and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations.
According to him, EVFTA is a balanced document that benefits both Việt Nam and the European Union and has large influences on bilateral political, economic, trade and investment ties.
The agreement will help EU companies access the 90-million-strong Vietnamese market, contributing to boosting bilateral cooperation. It will also allow the European Union to improve its position and role in Southeast Asia and Asia-Pacific, Quang said.
He affirmed that Việt Nam was committed to ensuring an open and transparent business and investment environment as well as following the regulations of the agreement.
Participants at the workshop lauded the significance of the agreement for both the sides.
Many said EVFTA would open up opportunities for the two sides’ enterprises through innovative mechanisms to protect investors and provide conditions for the European Union’s small- and medium-sized enterprises to more easily access the Vietnamese market.
Ambassador and head of the EU Mission to Việt Nam, Bruno Angelet, pointed out the issues that Việt Nam needed to solve to take advantage of the agreement while suggesting the country protect intellectual property.
He said to boost farm produce exports, Việt Nam should follow the European Union’s food requirements and the Sanitary and Phyto-Sanitary Agreement.
Member of the European Parliament, Jan Zahradil, who is also the president of the EU-Việt Nam Friendship Parliamentarians’ Group, hoped the agreement would be approved in the current tenure of the European Parliament.
Next week, Vietnamese Minister of Industry and Trade Trần Tuấn Anh will travel to Brussels to solve existing technical matters so that the European Council can sign the agreement and submit it to the European Parliament for ratification.
In its current tenure, the European Parliament will convene meetings until mid-April 2019, so both the sides have some 10 months to complete the signing and ratification of the agreement, Zahradil said. — VNS