The EU and Vietnam have agreed to launch bilateral Free Trade Agreement (FTA) negotiations following a meeting between EU Trade Commissioner Karel De Gucht and Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung in Hanoi.
EU and Vietnamese officials will now work together to agree the way forward towards the formal start of negotiations as well as an agreed framework for the talks to reach an FTA.
The Commission will now discuss next steps with the Council and the Parliament. This key step reflects the deepening trade relations between the EU and Vietnam.
The annual bilateral trade in goods amounted to almost € 12 billion in 2008, and trade has increased 12% annually during 2004-2008. Within ASEAN, Vietnam is the EU’s fifth largest trading partner.
Vietnam has seen rapid economic and social transformation over the past decade. Vietnam is a good example of an economy successfully opening up to trade and investment and lifting millions of people out of poverty.
Vietnam is one of the fastest growing and dynamic economies in ASEAN. GDP growth averaged almost 8% during 2003-2008. Even through the global economic downturn in 2009, Vietnam recorded a respectable growth rate of almost 5%.
Source: EU Commission