Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Bùi Thanh Sơn, centre, at the meeting. — VNA/VNS Photo
BERLIN — Foreign investors, especially those from the European Union (EU), will find it more appealing to invest in Việt Nam when the EU- Việt Nam Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA) comes into effect, according to German broadcaster Deutsche Welle (DW).
In a story posted on its website, DW said the trade agreement would be the most ambitious the EU has ever negotiated with a developing country, which abolishes 99 per cent of customs duties, eliminates bureaucratic hurdles by aligning standards for goods like cars and medicine, and ensures easier market access for both European and Vietnamese companies.
The EU Parliament’s International Trade Committee (INTA) is expected to present a draft resolution of the EVFTA tomorrow. If the European Parliament accepts the resolution during its plenary session in February, the EVFTA will come into force one month later.
The trade deal is a positive step for the economies of both Việt Nam and the EU, DW quoted Vietnamese Ambassador to Germany Nguyễn Minh Vũ as saying.
In the context of trade tensions and rising protectionism, the EVFTA provides a strong signal of support from both sides for globalisation and unwavering commitments to a free and rules-based trade system, he said.
The Vietnamese diplomat also believed that the pact will significantly deepen the strategic partnership between Việt Nam and EU economically and politically.
Việt Nam's economy has grown by an average 6.5 per cent in the last five years, and foreign direct investment has played a large part in this. The EVFTA is expected to help Việt Nam lure more foreign investment.
Currently, the EU is Việt Nam's 5th biggest foreign investor. It is reasonable to hope that the figure will increase significantly, Ambassador Vũ said, adding 62 percent of investors from the EU have a positive opinion of doing business in the Southeast Asian country.
Meanwhile, Erwin Schweisshelm, former head of the Friedrich-Ebert Foundation in Việt Nam said that the EVFTA is part of the EU’s wider economic strategy in Southeast Asia. The EVFTA would be the EU's second free trade agreement with a member of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), a bloc with ten members and a population of 600 million people. In November 2019, the EU-Singapore free trade agreement entered into force.
“In the long term, there could be an ASEAN-EU agreement,” he said.
The article also said that Việt Nam has already ratified six of eight International Labour Organisation (ILO) standards, and commended the country’s adoption of a revised Labour Code in November 2019 , allowing the creation of independent trade unions at the enterprise level that do not have to join the Việt Nam trade union. — VNS