|Council of the European Union
|Official Journal of the European Union
|L 186, Pages 3–1400
Agreement between the European Union (EU) and Vietnam establishing a Free Trade area, in conformity with Article XXIV of GATT 1994 and Article V of GATS. The objectives of this Agreement (also known as EVFTA) are to liberalise and facilitate trade and investment between the two sides in accordance with the provisions of this Agreement.
This agreement scraps duties on 99% of all goods traded between the two sides. It expresses a commitment of both sides to environment and social rights. It sets high standards of labour, environmental and consumer protection and ensures that there is no 'race to the bottom' to promote trade or attract investment. The text also includes an institutional and legal link to the EU-Vietnam Partnership and Cooperation Agreement (PCA), allowing appropriate action in the case of serious breaches of human rights.
Negotiations with Vietnam regarding a bilateral trade agreement originating from the wider aim to establish a region-to-region trade deal between the European Union and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN). The wider talks were launched in 2007 and suspended in 2009 due to lack of progress. The EU decided to engage in negotiations with individual countries instead, based on the negotiating mandate for the wider ASEAN talks.
Discussions with Vietnamese authorities were launched in June 2012 and an agreement in principle for an FTA was reached in August 2015, following 14 rounds of negotiations. The talks were concluded in December 2015.
In 2018, the two sides decided to split their agreement into two standalone texts - this Free Trade Agreement (FTA) and a separate Investment Protection Agreement (IPA). The first covers exclusive EU competences (and could therefore be ratified by the EU alone), while the second covers shared competences, on which the EU shares decision-making powers with the Member States (meaning that the agreement must also be ratified by them).
In October 2018, the European Commission presented proposals for Council Decisions on the signing and conclusion of the FTA on behalf of the European Union. The Decision on signing the Agreement was adopted by the Council of the European Union in June 2019, followed by the Decision on concluding the Agreement in March 2020. The European Parliament endorsed in February 2020. It entered into force on 1 August 2020.
|Bilateral Relations, External Trade | Trade Agreements
|Free Trade Agreement [FTA]
|Countries / Regions
|European Union [EU]