Vietnam and the European Union are closer to finalizing a free trade agreement which will eliminate taxes on 90 Vietnamese products, a trade representative said.
The agreement is expected to be signed by the end of the year, according to comments made Wednesday, at a conference in Hanoi, by Maylis Labayle of the European Chamber of Industry and Commerce (EuroCham) in Vietnam.
Vietnam and EU are reaching the final stage of their negotiation and the final settlement will eliminate import tariffs on 90 Vietnamese products, Labayle said at the meeting held by the Ministry of Industry and Trade.
She said EuroCham expects the deal to bring major changes starting next year--namely a 30-40 percent jump in Vietnam’s export revenues.
Vietnam’s EU exports increased 28 percent per year during the past two years--increases Labayle described as very strong.
Last year, Vietnam exported 21.2 billion Euros (US$27.13 billion) and imported 5.8 billion Euros ($7.39 billion) from the EU.
Labayle said that export figures will grow further as the trade deal gives Vietnam more advantages than other Southeast Asian countries.
She said prices and taxes won’t be a concern anymore, but Vietnamese businesses will have to pay closer attention to meet EU quality and safety standards.
The 28-nation bloc, which is home to 500 million people, is a major consumer of Vietnamese textile and garment products, leather shoes, coffee, fruit, cashews and seafood.