The bilateral trade and investment agreements concluded by the EU in March 2020 with Vietnam and the trade agreement are expected to enter into force within the summer of Vietnam`s final ratification. After those with Singapore, the agreements with Vietnam are the second between the EU and a Southeast Asian country and provide stepping stones for increased engagement between the EU and the region. The agreements must now be ratified by the Vietnamese National Assembly and, in the case of the Investment Protection Agreement, by EU member states. On June 8, Vietnam`s National Assembly approved the agreements by an overwhelming majority, with 457 lawmakers voting in favor of the free trade agreement and 462 for the IPA. According to some Vietnamese newspapers, the agreements could enter into force in July. At the most fundamental level, the agreements will promote jobs and growth between Vietnam and the EU. The agreements will gradually remove most tariffs, regulatory barriers and bureaucracy and should allow EU entrepreneurs to do business and invest in Vietnam. In February 2020, the European Parliament ratified a Free Trade Agreement (FTA) and an Investment Protection Agreement (IPA) with Vietnam. MEPs (MDEP) voted in favour of the agreements in Strasbourg. Trade and investment agreements develop the trade dimension of bilateral relations between the EU and Vietnam, which are based on and governed by the Framework Agreement on Partnership and Cooperation (PCA) between the EU and Vietnam, which entered into force in October 2016. Similarly, nearly 100% of Vietnam`s exports to the EU will be phased out after ten years. So far, this is the highest degree of commitment granted by a Vietnamese partner in a trade agreement.
This is especially important when the EU has been one of the country`s two largest export markets. In the area of investment protection, the two sides have already achieved much, including an agreement on important safeguards such as national treatment and agreements on the main rules for the substantive protection of investments. A permanent mechanism for resolving investment disputes will be established through the establishment of an independent investment judiciary infrastructure projects account for a large part of public investment in Vietnam. The ECA requires parties to respect the general principles of increased domestic treatment, non-discrimination and transparency in the tendering procedure for public procurement. The aim is to ensure that EU companies are able to apply on an equal footing with national tenderers for public procurement (goods and services and works with defined exceptions), taking into account the monetary value thresholds set for which and beyond which the agreement is covered by the agreement. Nevertheless, the ECA allows Vietnam to delay the implementation of several specified provisions by up to ten years and Vietnam`s government procurement obligations will not be subject to dispute settlement for five years. In addition, the IASIA includes geographical indications (“geographical indications”) that relate to names or signs used on products corresponding to a given origin or geographical location. Under the agreement, Vietnam will recognise and protect 169 EU GIs (e.g.B. for certain EU wines and cheeses) and the EU will protect 39 Vietnamese GIs (including certain coffees, teas and sauces). Singapore has experienced economic growth since the signing of its free trade agreements. These agreements have helped local businesses and investors access overseas markets, raise their products faster and easier, and benefit from tariff concessions, preferential access to certain sectors and IP protection.
According to a study by Singapore`s Ministry of Trade and Industry, businesses saved about $730 million in tariffs and bilateral trade increased by $9.7 million and two-way investment increased 26-fold. . . .