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Vietnam Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA) heralds new chapter for Vietnam -EU relations

Update: January, 30/2019 - 06:33

HANOI, VIETNAM - Media OutReach - 28 January 2019 - The European Union − Vietnam Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA), which is heading to the European Council and Parliament for the final approval necessary for it to come into force, brings unprecedented advantages and benefits for Vietnam and the EU.

British Prime Minister's Trade Envoy to Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia, the Rt Hon Edward Vaizey MP, and economist Alessandra Bonfiglioli, from the School of Economics and Finance of Queen Mary University of London (QMUL)* give their views on the many opportunities the EVFTA is expected to bring to both parties.

On the potential impacts of EVFTA on EU economy:


  • The biggest impact will be the elimination of customs duties on goods traded between the EU and Vietnam.
  • 65% of import duties from the EU to Vietnam will be eliminated immediately, with the remainder being removed over the next 10 years.
  • For Vietnam, the implementation of the principles of the International Labour Foundation and the Paris Agreement are also an important step.


The EU will definitely benefit from better market access in the Vietnamese market, and to a larger extent than Vietnamese firms in their access to the EU. The reason is that, while the EVFTA  will reduce tariffs on goods by 99% bilaterally, as a matter of fact, many Vietnamese products have been already enjoying trade preferences offered unilaterally by the EU under the General Scheme of Preferences (GSP). The sectors benefitting the most in the EU will be those producing machineries, vehicles and pharmaceuticals

Moreover, the agreement grants the protection of Geographical Indications, such as those of Champagne, Parmigiano Reggiano and Feta cheeses, and many more (there are 169 such traditional European food and drinks products). Considering that the spectacular growth performance of Vietnam is bound to increase the demand for these products, the EU agricultural sector is expected to seize relevant benefits.

The EVFTA will grant European companies better access to the Vietnamese public procurement markets than companies from any other country. This means that they will be able to bid for public contracts, for instance in infrastructures, which are worth billions of Euros.

For the full press release with reasons why Vietnam is chosen and envisaging the UK-Vietnam FTA when UK leaves the EU please see


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