31st Sea Games - Vietnam 2021 Covid-19 Pandemic
Jun 26, 2020 / 16:10

Vietnam urged to to resume air connection with EU

European businesses have urged Vietnam to resume international flights as the EU-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement is slated to take effect on August.

Nicolas Audier, chairman of the European Chamber of Commerce (EuroCham) in Vietnam, has called on Hanoi to reactivate the entry of foreigners in Vietnam, according to the Nikkei Asian Review.

Giorgio Aliberti, EU Ambassador to Vietnam. Photo courtesy of EuroCham in Vietnam.

Hanoi currently only allows the occasional entry of charter flights to take foreigners out. But regular flights between Europe and Vietnam are not expected to resume until 2021.

The National Assembly of Vietnam approved a free trade deal with the European Union on June 8, making Vietnam the second Southeast Asian nation to enjoy such a trading status with the European bloc after Singapore. The EU-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA) is set to take effect as early as August.

“EU companies will consider Vietnam [an investment target] now even more than before because of EVFTA,” EU Ambassador to Vietnam Giorgio Aliberti told Nikkei in another interview in Hanoi, soon after the approval of the free trade agreement. “If you want to leverage business, you need to open the border at some points" to allow the return to business, he said.

Demand from EU-based companies prompted Hanoi and the bloc to begin talks recently toward resuming flights, primarily to Paris, London and Frankfurt, but negotiations remain incipient as the continent continues fighting the pandemic, Nikkei reported.

Japan is the first country which had an agreement with Vietnam to begin relaxing travel restrictions on a mutual basis, when a group of 150 Japanese experts arrived in Vietnam Thursday.

Earlier, the governments of Vietnam and South Korea, Japan and China discussed gradual re-connection of air services based on the demand of each side as well as in compliance with measures to prevent the outbreak of Covid-19, Spokesperson of Ministry of Foreign Affairs Le Thi Thu Hang stated on June 18.

The country reported 352 coronavirus cases as of June 26 with no fatalies so far. It has gone 71 days straight without community infection.