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Mar 19, 2022 / 16:01

EVFTA as bright spot in Vietnam-EU relations

The EVFTA since its inception on August 1, 2020, has contributed to raising bilateral trade turnover to $57 billion in 2021.

Economic cooperation, including the implementation of the EU-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA), remains a bright spot in Vietnam-EU relations.

 Overview of the meeting. Photo: VNA

Chairman of the National Assembly (NA)’s Committee for External Relations Vu Hai Ha stressed the view in a meeting ơn March 18 between representatives of the NA and the European Parliament on the EVFTA.

This was the second meeting between the two sides to discuss the EVFTA to address the remaining issues and find solutions to further boost the efficiency of the deal.

In the meeting, Ha said Vietnam gives priority to its relations with the EU. “The comprehensive partnership between the two, including that of the NA and European Parliament, has generated benefits for the people and contributed to peace, cooperation, and development of the two continents and in the world,” he added.

The EVFTA since its inception on August 1, 2020, has contributed to raising bilateral trade turnover to $57 billion in 2021.

Both Vietnam and the EU have cooperated closely to implement the deal, including frequent dialogues and periodical meetings of various committees to resolve differences.

The first meeting of the trade committee on EVFTA implementation was carried out in July 2021, and the first session of the Trade and Sustainable Development Committee on the implementation of chapter 13 under the EVFTA took place in November 2021.

On the Vietnamese side, Ha said the Government has revised decrees and laws related to tax, agricultural sector, rules of origin, and trade protection.

In addition, a revised draft law of the Intellectual Property Rights has been submitted to the NA for approval, enforcing Vietnam’s commitments in the EVFTA.

Meanwhile, the Covid-19 pandemic has disrupted global supply chains, and subsequently impacted the efficiency of the EVFTA.

Ha added restricted mobility due to the pandemic also limited the chance for local businesses to visit Europe to look for business opportunities, and hampered those in fields of garment and agriculture to meet requirements on rules of origin.

The Vietnamese representative called for the EU to continue providing technical assistance for Vietnam to take advantage of the EVFTA and overcome the technical barriers of trade, or sanitary and phytosanitary measures (SPS).

Ha also requested the EU to soon lift the yellow card on Vietnamese seafood exports as Vietnam had made progress in tackling illegal, unreported, and unregulated fishing (IUU), and support seafood trading companies in Vietnam to further penetrate the market.

To resolve differences, Ha asked the EU to support Vietnam enhance its capabilities to implement the EVFTA; called for the European Parliament to soon approve the EU-Vietnam Investment Protection Agreement (EVIPA) to create a new driving force for the bilateral comprehensive partnership.

Representatives of the European Parliament highlighted strong progress in the implementation of the EVFTA by Vietnam and the EU while stressing the necessity to continue the dialogue mechanisms between the two legislative bodies.