EuroCham leads mission to push for EVFTA ratification in BrusselsOctober 22, 2018
During October 8-18, EuroCham led a delegation of European companies and Business Associations to Brussels with the purpose of promoting the ratification and implementation of the EU-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA).
As presented in the Eurocham EVFTA Report 2018, the EVFTA represents an historic change in the relations between the EU and Vietnam. The agreement will boost trade and investment on both sides, and help Vietnam to further integrate into the global economy and the international community.
– The EVFTA will eliminate almost all tariffs between the EU and Vietnam. 65% of the value of EU exports will be removed the moment it enters into force, with the remaining tariffs being phased out over the next 10 years. Meanwhile, 71% of EU imports from Vietnam will be tariff-free once the EVFTA enters into force, rising to more than 99% over the following 7 years.
– Customs duties will be almost eliminated over a transitional period of 7 years for Vietnamese goods and 10 years for EU goods. This will be beneficial both for business and consumers, in the form of lower prices and greater competitiveness.
– Vietnam will continue facilitating the market access for EU Service Providers. Additional sectors will be opened up, giving the EU the best possible access to Vietnam’s market.
EuroCham members are confident that the EVFTA will have either a significant or moderate impact on their business in the long-term and will improve a range of social and environmental issues in Vietnam, such as economic development and welfare improvement, sustainable development and environmental protection, and knowledge transfer and local workforce advancement.
During the visit, EuroCham’s delegation met with the EU Commissioners in charge of Trade, Budget & HR, Agriculture & Rural Development, and Education, Culture, Youth & Sports as well as several senior EU officials. In these meetings, EuroCham provided on-the-ground updates on Vietnam’s progress in reforming the Labour Code and improving gender rights.
EuroCham’s delegation also spoke at the European Parliament of Enterprises, gathering over 700 business leaders from across Europe. This meeting reaffirmed Europe’s commitment to common trade policies and free, fair and rules-based international trade. At the event, EU Trade Commissioner Cecilia Malmstrom announced that the EVFTA would be approved by the Commission and submitted to the Council and European Parliament on October 17.
The highlight of the visit was a public hearing organised by the European Parliament’s International Trade (INTA) Committee, which included hearings from both Chief Negotiators of the EVFTA, the European Commission’s Deputy Director-General for Trade Helena Koenig and Vietnam Deputy Minister of Industry and Trade Tran Quoc Khanh.
EuroCham Co-Chairman, Nicolas Audier, who has lived and worked in Vietnam since 1993 also presented at the hearing and highlighted how far Vietnam has come over the last decades and emphasised the importance of the EVFTA in helping Vietnam to continue its process of reform and liberalisation.
In the second week of EuroCham’s mission, the delegation welcomed Vietnam’s Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc in Brussels to discuss trade and investment relations with companies from across Europe, ahead of the EVFTA coming into force. The Prime Minister referenced EuroCham’s latest Business Climate Index at the Asia-EU Economic Forum, and highlighted the strong appetite of European companies to invest in Vietnam.
To conclude the visit, EuroCham attended the EU-ASEAN Business Council meeting with EU Trade Commissioner Cecilia Malmstrom and promised to keep the EU updated on Vietnam’s progress in reforming its legislative framework to ensure a smooth implementation of the EVFTA.