Vietnam, EU finish negotiations on free trade agreement: report

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 Workers inside a textile factory. Textile is among sectors said to enjoy the biggest gains from Vietnam-EU free trade agreement. Photo: Diep Duc Minh
After 13 rounds of talks since 2012, Vietnam and the European Union have concluded their negotiation on a free trade agreement which was expected to raise the country's exports to the market by 30-40 percent, Saigon Times Online reported.
A ceremony was slated on Tuesday in Hanoi to announce the milestone, it said.
Although the pact, which covers a variety of sectors like trade in goods, trade in services, intellectual property and public spending, benefits both the partners, Vietnam will be the bigger beneficiary, according to a study by the European Trade Policy and Investment Support Project.
Thanks to low trade barriers, Vietnam's exports to EU will see a two-fold increase annually, instead of 15-20 percent like now.
Textile, footwear and food processing are among sectors which will enjoy the largest gains.
Moreover, the agreement will also help expand the local service sector, the whole economy's efficiency, and the country's efforts to reduce poverty, the website quoted the study as saying.
EU became Vietnam's second largest trade partner in 2013 when the country's exports to the market hit 25 billion euro (US$27.4 billion) in values, while imports from EU accounted for 29 percent of its total imports, according to figures from Eurocham.
Their trade value raised 9 percent year on year to more than $36.8 billion last year.
With 27 state members, EU is also a major investor in Vietnam with more than 2,030 projects effective till now, mostly in industry, construction and services. Their registered capital totaled over $36 billion.

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