|A farmer and her dragon fruit farm in the northern province of Vĩnh Phúc. The EVFTA would bring significant opportunities for Việt Nam to expand exports of agricultural products to the EU. - VNA/VNS Photo Nguyễn Thảo|
HÀ NỘI – The European Union (EU) – Việt Nam Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA) will be submitted to the National Assembly (NA) for discussion and ratification at the NA’s next meeting expected to open on May 20, and preparations are well underway.
The NA Standing Committee this week urged relevant agencies to complete the document for the approval of EVFTA for discussion at the NA Standing Committee’s 44th meeting scheduled for mid-April before it is submitted to the NA.
The Government in February also asked the Ministry of Industry and Trade to propose an action plan to Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc to implement the EVFTA with a focus on enhancing communication and improving awareness of enterprises so they could fully take advantages of opportunities from the trade deal.
The action plan must also raise measures to enable firms to expand in the EU’s agriculture and fishery markets.
Vietnamese leaders have consistently espoused their determination to ratify the EVFTA as soon as possible.
The EVFTA will eliminate almost 99 per cent of customs duties between the EU and Việt Nam.
Under the trade deal, 65 per cent of duties on EU exports to Việt Nam will be removed as soon as the trade deal enters into force while 71 per cent of duties on Vietnamese exports to the EU will disappear at the same time. The remainder will be phased out gradually over a period of up to 10 years for EU exports and seven years for Vietnamese exports.
The EVFTA also contains provisions on intellectual property protection, labour rights and sustainable development.
On March 3, the EU Council adopted a decision on the conclusion of the trade deal, clearing the path, on the EU side, for the entry into force of the agreement.
Once the Vietnamese National Assembly ratifies the EVFTA, the trade deal can enter into force.
The EU Parliament approved the EVFTA on February 12.
The document, together with the EU-Vietnam Investment Protection Agreement, was signed in Hà Nội on June 30 last year.
The EVFTA will open a great opportunity for Việt Nam to penetrate a market bloc with a GDP of US$18 trillion.
The EU is one of the largest trade partners of Việt Nam with two-way trade hitting $56.39 billion in 2019. VNS