|Workers package pineapples for export to European countries. — VNA/VNS Photo Đình Huệ|
HÀ NỘI — The European Commission has submitted a free trade agreement with Việt Nam for approval, the first comprehensive open market deal between the EU and a developing Asian country.
Agreements on trade and investment between the EU and Việt Nam will need approval from the bloc’s 28 members and from the European Parliament.
The trade deal would eliminate 99 per cent of all tariffs, although some staged over a time period and some limited by quotas.
Việt Nam, for example, would cut its duty on EU car imports from 78 per cent to zero over 10 years, and for wines and spirits from around 50 per cent, over seven years. EU companies would also be able to bid for Vietnamese public contracts.
In return, the EU would take seven years to eliminate its duties on certain Vietnamese products, such as its major textiles, clothing and footwear exports.
Việt Nam has pledged to protect 169 European food and drink products, such as champagne and Parmigiano Reggiano cheese. — VNS