Current portal location

Website content

News archive

Vietnam | Hanoi, 8 November 2013

EU and Vietnam hold fifth round of negotiations for a free trade agreement

The EU and Vietnam last week completed the fifth round of negotiations for a Free Trade Agreement (FTA). Held in Hanoi, Vietnam from 4-8 November, the talks saw negotiators discussing texts covering all the chapters of the proposed FTA.

More detailed negotiations took place on the market access offers for goods and for government procurement. Constructive discussions were conducted on a so-called “Green Tech Annex” dedicated to tackling non-tariff barriers affecting trade and investment in the renewable energy sector, an area both the EU and Vietnam are keen to promote.

The aim of the negotiations is to achieve an ambitious agreement on goods, services and investment, eliminating tariffs and non-tariff barriers and covering other trade-related issues, such as public procurement, regulatory issues, competition, and trade and sustainable development. Once in place, the agreement will boost EU-Vietnam trade and investment ties and provide for more business opportunities on both sides.

The negotiations were led on the EU side by Mauro Petriccione, Director in the European Commission’s Directorate General for Trade, and his Vietnamese counterpart, Vice Minister for Industry and Trade Tran Quoc Khanh.

The next round of negotiations will be held in Brussels in January 2014.

Background

The EU and Vietnam, one of the 10 members of ASEAN, announced the start of bilateral FTA negotiations in Brussels in June 2012.

The EU and Vietnam have strong trade ties. Vietnam is the EU's fifth largest trading partner within ASEAN (and 35th out of the EU's total trade). In 2012, two-way trade amounted to almost €24 billion. The EU is one of the largest foreign direct investors, committing €1.37 billion in total.

Vietnam is the third ASEAN country to hold FTA negotiations with the EU after Singapore and Malaysia, and followed by Thailand.

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. The EU thus aims at an ambitious agreement with Vietnam ensuring large coherence with other individual FTAs with ASEAN member states.

Figures for EU-Vietnam trade in goods (2012):

  • EU exports to Vietnam: € 5.3 billion
  • EU imports from Vietnam: € 18.5 billion
  • Total trade in goods: € 23.8 billion

EU exports are mainly high tech products including electrical machinery and equipment, aircraft, vehicles, pharmaceutical products and iron and steel. Vietnam's key exports to the EU include telephone sets, electronic products, footwear, textiles and clothing, coffee, rice, fishery products, and furniture.

For further information

EU-Vietnam trade relations
EU-ASEAN
EU and Vietnam move closer to starting trade negotiations, Phnom Penh, Cambodia, 31 March 2012 - Press release
"EU-ASEAN: An efficient machine for the next 45 years", 19 June 2012, Brussels - Speech by EU Trade Commissioner De Gucht
European Commission's industry consultation during the negotiation process
The EU and Vietnam to sign Partnership and Cooperation Agreement (PCA), 26 June 2012 - Press release