EU, Vietnam sign free trade agreement
The European Commission (EC) and the Vietnamese government said in a joint statement that they welcome Sunday's signing of a free trade agreement and hope for a swift ratification in their legislatures, Trend reports citing Xinhua.
The joint statement, available on the EC's website, hailed the deal as the most ambitious free trade deal between the European Union (EU) and an emerging economy to date, based on the joint commitment of the two sides to open, fair, and rules-based trade liberalisation and economic integration.
The agreement was signed in Hanoi. Its effect would include the almost complete (99 percent) elimination of customs duties between the two trading partners, with a combined population of nearly 600 million. The two sides also signed an investment protection agreement.
The agreements will now be presented on the Vietnamese side to the National Assembly for ratification and on the EU side to the European Parliament for its consent, as well as to the respective national parliaments of the EU member states in the case of the investment protection agreement.
"We hope for a swift ratification of the agreements by these legislative bodies in the coming months," the statement read.