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Vietnam, EU to complete ratification of EVFTA, EVIPA soon: Minister

Speaking to the press right after the signing ceremony in Hanoi on June 30 of the EU – Vietnam Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA) and the EU – Vietnam Investment Protection Agreement (EVIPA), Minister of Industry and Trade Tran Tuan Anh affirmed that the EVFTA was started and completed in the context of robust development of Vietnam – EU bilateral relations, especially in the fields of economy and trade.

According to regulations of each side, the agreement must be ratified by the parliaments before it takes effect, Anh said, stressing that whether the ratification process takes long or short, this depends much on the efforts of both Vietnam and the EU.

What needs to be done right after the signing is to early start work for the ratification, the minister said, describing the EVFTA as a comprehensive and high-quality pact that ensures balanced benefits for both Vietnam and the EU, with consideration to the development gap between the two sides.

The strong commitment on opening the markets in the EVFTA is sure to push up the bilateral trade relations in a more comprehensive and intensive way. Besides, other commitments on fair treatment and investment protection in the EVIPA will also make active contributions to the building of a transparent legal and investment environment, thus helping Vietnam attract more investors from the EU and other countries.

Strategically speaking, the negotiations and implementation of those FTAs also sent out a positive message on Vietnam’s determination in accelerating its intensive and extensive integration into the world economy in the context of the complex and hard-to-predict developments of the economic and geopolitical situation.

Together with opportunities, the implementation of EVFTA also poses challenges because Vietnam is less developed than regional countries that reached FTAs with the EU. Therefore, competition pressure is inevitable.

At the same time, commitments in new fields under EVFTA will also call for amendments in legal regulations.

Minister Tran Tuan Anh informed that the legislature has devised a roadmap to revising important laws such as the Labour Code and the Law on Intellectual Property, making it easier to realise the EVFTA.

The minister also urged domestic enterprises to take the initiative in preparing for the agreement.

He suggested studying opportunities and challenges in doing business in the EU, improving product quality and design, and tapping competitiveness.

In order to make the best of the deal, he proposed that firms should ensure that their products meet the EU’s requirements regarding origin, technical standards, hygiene and safety.