EU-Vietnam trade deal may help rescue European, Asian economies – Leaders



The new EU–Vietnam free trade agreement (EVFTA), which came into effect on Aug. 1, on Wednesday opened up opportunities to boost Vietnam’s economy, Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc and Vietnamese business leaders said.

Phuc, however, urged authorities to ensure international labour standards were met and measures taken to protect the environment.

He also expressed hope that the treaty would ensure Vietnam’s products met European standards and increase jobs.

“The EU is a market with strict requirements on quality.

“Therefore, the free trade agreement opens up opportunities for Vietnam to innovate its growth model.

“Encourage businesses to improve, accept new and stricter rules as well as creating new jobs,” he said.

EVFTA had been described by Brussels as its most ambitious agreement with a developing country.

The agreement with Vietnam will eliminate 99 per cent of all tariffs on both sides, cut non-tariff barriers and open up Vietnamese services and public procurement markets to EU companies.

Phuc also hoped the trade deal would mitigate economic damage brought about by the pandemic.

“Major economies and leading partners of Vietnam such as the United States, China and Japan have all suffered record declines in economic growth.

“Even the EU has suffered a decline in GDP in 2020.”

Jean-Jacques Bouflet, Vice Chairman at the European Chamber of Commerce in Vietnam, claimed in a recent survey that 74 per cent of European business leaders said the EVFTA would have a positive impact.

“Currently, worldwide business activities are seriously affected by COVID-19.

EVFTA will promote trade and investment, create long-term opportunities and shape the relationship between the EU and Vietnam over the next ten years.”

He said EVFTA would provide EU enterprises with the chance to access one of the most vibrant consumer markets in South-East Asia.

Bouflet added that EVFTA would bring about healthy competition on equal terms with other countries that have signed free trade agreements with Vietnam like Japan and Korea.

Vietnam, a nation of 96 million, is currently going through a second wave of the virus and is facing severe economic impacts, with over 30,000 businesses having suspended operations since the beginning of the crisis.

The approval of the EVFTA, however, is expected to buoy up a country aiming to avoid recession and hit the 2.7-per-cent GDP prediction for 2020 set by the IMF in April.

The Chairman of the Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI), Vu Loc, expressed delight over the VCCI and the Vietnamese business community.

“We are now in a very unstable situation with COVID-19 and the trade war.

“All of these affects our economy.

“I think the Vietnam-EU free trade agreement will provide a foundation for our economic development and integration.

“Now, Vietnam enters a new period of development. We will like to improve quality and increase the value of Vietnam in the world’s supply chains and introduce progressive technologies and management,” he said.

EVFTA will eventually help Vietnam, which is regularly among the world’s fastest-growing economies, to increase its export turnover to the EU by about 44 per cent by 2030.

According to the Chief Executive of Vietnam National Textile and Garment Group, Le Truong, at this time in Vietnam, the textile industry is the second biggest for export.

“And for us, we have three major markets. The first one is the United States, the second is the EU and the third is Japan.

“But in the total global textile supply chain, Vietnam is number three, we have a global market share of around 6 per cent.

“It means we still have a weak point in the EU.

“We hope the EVFTA will support a new dynamic for the business community and expand our share in the EU.”

However, the deal was considered an economic boon for Vietnam, assisting the country to gain access to a market of over 500 million people and potentially increase its annual GDP by between 2.18 and 3.25 per cent over the coming years.


Edited By: Yahaya Isah/Emmanuel Yashim (NAN)

Nigeria @60: Plateau NMA decries high maternal, infant mortality in the country ASUU seeks adoption of UTAS to end strike‎ Nigeria at 60: Fintiri congratulates Nigerians CGE distributes 9000 solar powered radio to adolescents girls in Gombe Fayemi approves conversion, inter-cadre transfer for 603 civil servants Nigeria at 60: US lauds Nigeria’s commitments to tackling corruption [email protected]: FCT Minister donates cooking gas, food items to flood victims Nigeria @60: Army chief harps on Nigeria’s unity, warns divisive elements ICPC rates Nigerian Correctional Service high on ethics Bayern Munich ride luck to win German Super Cup and fifth title of year Ruthless Nadal stays on course at French Open Neymar and Alvaro avoid French Ligue 1 sanctions Manchester United, Everton, Manchester City join Spurs in English League Cup quarter-finals Benue govt. honours Ordega, Onazi Police arrest 47 over alleged kidnapping, unlawful possession of weapons COVID-19: NCDC announces 201 fresh infections in Nigeria Independence: KEDCO urges Nigerians to support power sector reform Independence: Sen. Adeola urges Nigerians to redress wrongs at 60 Aba residents decry killing of Malaysian returnee in Aba Bauchi, Jigawa floods: FG commiserates with victims, begins flood assessment NCF calls for concerted effort to preserve environment PDP condemns repeated attacks on its candidate for Ondo race Officials advocate building of toilets to end open defecation by 2025 Nigeria @ 60: Atiku calls for youth-centred development plan Harry Potter flies in London, playing Quidditch over Leicester Square Governors donate N100m to Borno Government Country singer/songwriter Mac Davis, who wrote ‘In the Ghetto,’ dead at 78 Independence:NEPZA boss promises to use FTZs, SEZs rejuvenate nation’s economy Curtailing access to forex proceeds will limit exporter’s contributions to economy – FACAN Customs boss charges NDA cadets to place national interest above all other considerations  Felix Duke calls out Pretty Okafor over Creative Industry Group (CIG) Trademark fraud Akwa Ibom to implement flood-control project across 18 communities House seeks immediate demarcation of boundary among warring communities in Nasarawa, Benue Independence Day: Gbajabimila, Wase, Elumelu congratulate Nigerians 2021 budget: Reps approve N13.08 trn expenditures, $40 oil price benchmark Expert urges schools to embrace ICT as  new method of teaching Independence: Plateau speaker urges Nigerians to defend nation’s unity [email protected]: Gov. Bello says insecurity threat to growth, development Nigeria @ 60: PDP urges Buhari to reposition government 2023: Umahi denies alleged rift with NASS members from Ebonyi Nigeria @ 60: 120 eminent Nigerian elders, leaders for National Dialogue — Utomi Group says community policing key to curbing insecurity Oyetola salutes Nigeria at 60, sues for peace, unity Poultry association tasks NLC on permanent employment of workers by employers Nigeria grants approval for Emirates Airlines to operate Group launches N5m interest-free loan for members [email protected]: We must build a nation of one destiny – Mark FG distribute palliatives to 47,020 vulnerable households in Enugu N/ East: DPR tasks owners of filling stations, gas plants on safety Nigeria @ 60: Progressive Governors reaffirm commitment to democracy, development