The EU-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement and the EU-Vietnam Investment Protection Agreement offer significant business opportunities for European enterprises, German Federal Minister for Economic Affairs and Energy Peter Altmaier said.
German Federal Minister for Economic Affairs and Energy Peter Altmaier (Photo: Xinhua/VNA)
According to the minister, as a fast growing economy, Vietnam is an ideal market for European products and services.
On the back of the two trade pacts, it will be much easier for European commodities to break into this important market, he stressed.
He also described the EP’s approval of the deals as a vital signal for free trade and protectionism prevention.
Meanwhile, Director General of the Federation of German Industries (BDI) Joachim Lang said the local industrial sector breathed a sigh of relief when the EVFTA and EVIPA were adopted by the EP, explaining the deals will promote trade exchanges with the Southeast Asian country.
Sharing the same view, President of the Federation of German Wholesale and Foreign Trade (BGA) Holger Bingmann billed the EVFTA as the most ambitious free trade agreement ever negotiated with a developing country.
He believed the EVFTA, together with the EVIPA, will contribute to boosting economic relations between businesses from both sides.
Statistics from the Association of German Chambers of Commerce and Industry (DIHK) showed that Germany exported 4.1 billion EUR (4.45 billion USD) worth of products to Vietnam in 2018, a year-on-year surge of 18 percent. Meanwhile, Vietnam gained 9.8 billion EUR from shipments to the European nation, up 1.4 percent from 2017.
EP member welcomes ratification of EVFTA, EVIPA
Member of the European Parliament (EP) Geert Bourgeois has hailed the EP’s February 12 ratification of the EU-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA) and the EU-Vietnam Investment Protection Agreement (EVIPA), saying they aim at developing a mutually-beneficial partnership.
Speaking to Vietnam News Agency correspondents in France, Bourgeois, a rapporteur of the Committee on International Trade on the EVFTA and the EVIPA, stressed that the documents are the most ambitious new-generation agreements the EU has signed with a developing country.
He described Vietnam as a rapidly developing and competitive economy and one of the most open economies in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN).
The ratification of the EVFTA is an important step towards the final goal of establishing a free trade region between the EU and ASEAN, he stated, adding that the EVFTA, together with similar ones the EU has signed with Japan and Singapore, will tighten connectivity between the EU and Asia.
The two documents were signed in Hanoi on June 30 last year. They include intensive, extensive and comprehensive commitments covering the fields of economy, trade, investment and sustainable development issues.
At the EP’s plenary session in France, the EVIPA was passed with 407 votes for, 188 against and 53 abstentions; and the EVFTA, with 401, 192 and 40, respectively.
According to research conducted by the Ministry of Planning and Investment, the two deals will help Vietnam increase its GDP by 4.6 percent and its exports to the EU by 42.7 percent by 2025. Meanwhile, the European Commission has projected the EU’s GDP will increase by 29.5 billion USD and its exports to Vietnam by 29 percent by 2035.
Czech, German media spotlight EP’s approval of agreements with Vietnam
The EP's plenary session in Strasbourg, France
Media reports in the Czech Republic have highlighted the importance of the EU-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA) for the country and the EU in general after the agreement was approved by the European Parliament (EP) on February 12.
Articles on the websites ihned.cz and E15.cz quoted parliamentarian Dita Charanzová, Vice President of the EP as saying that the European Commission (EC) has successfully negotiated a quality agreement, helping open a new market for Czech businesses.
Charanzová also stressed the significance of the trade agreement to the Czech Republic’s export-based economy because the European country is part of the global production line.
In his article on ihned.cz, reporter Ondrej Houska said the EVFTA will bring great benefits to Czech companies because under the agreement, almost all tariff barriers will be gradually removed.
According to the foreign ministry of the Czech Republic, the EVFTA will help the country’s exports of mechanical products to Vietnam increase by more than one third in the coming years, and it will also enable Czech firms to have access to Vietnam’s public procurement service.
The Czech Republic is one of the EU member states that actively support free trade, it added.
Meanwhile, E15.cz said the EVFTA is considered the most comprehensive agreement signed by the EU with a developing country.
The website novinky.cz cited information posted on the EC’s Twitter account saying the commission welcomes the EP’s approval of the EVFTA and the EU-Vietnam Investment Protection Agreement (EVIPA).
Immediately after taking effect, the EVFTA will facilitate trade growth, create more jobs, and promote economic growth for both sides by removing 99 percent of all tariff lines, it said.
In Germany, after the two agreements were approved, key local news agencies, newspapers, televisions and radio stations also reported on the event.
ZDF Television said with the support of a majority of parliamentarians in Strasbourg of France, the EP gave the green light for the EVFTA, helping remove tariff barriers between the two sides.
Meanwhile, the Tagesspiegel newspaper ran an article describing the booming socio-economic development in Vietnam. It cited data from the World Bank as saying that in the 2002-2018 period, 45 million Vietnamese people escaped from poverty.
According to German media, with the EP’s approval of the EVFTA, the last real barrier to this trade agreement has been lifted, opening up huge opportunities for German and European businesses./.VNA
The European Parliament (EP) on February 12 ratified the EU-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA) and the EU-Vietnam Investment Protection Agreement (EVIPA).