EU Trade Commissioner Karel De Gucht and Vietnamese Minister for Industry and Trade Vu Huy Hoang officially launch negotiations for a Free Trade Agreement (FTA) between the EU and Vietnam. Both sides seek for a comprehensive agreement covering tariffs, non-tariff barriers as well as commitments on other trade related aspects, notably procurement, regulatory issues, competition, services, and sustainable development.
The European Union and Vietnam initialed a Partnership Cooperation Agreement in 2010, as a first step towards establishing closer economic and political ties. The launch of FTA negotiations marks the next step in this relationship.
In December 2009, EU Member States gave the green light for the European Commission to pursue negotiations towards Free Trade Agreements with individual ASEAN countries. Negotiations with Singapore and Malaysia began in March 2010 and October 2010 respectively. Vietnam will thus be the third partner of the EU in the ASEAN region with whom the EU has started negotiations on a free trade agreement.
While pursuing a bilateral approach, the EU is not losing sight of the ultimate goal of achieving an agreement with ASEAN as a whole, one of the most dynamic regions in the world.
Tuesday June 26, 2012/ European Commission/ European Union.