The EU’s FTA with Vietnam will boost growth and investment according to the top officials who negotiated the deal. Speaking at a conference on 14 September, co-sponsored by the EU-Asia Centre, Tran Quoc Khahn, Vice Minister of industry and trade, and Mauro Petriccione, Deputy Director General, DG Trade, both expressed optimism about the potential for both sides to ensure a win-win outcome.
Opening the panel discussion, Fraser Cameron, Director of the EU-Asia Centre, said that free trade was under attack as never before from populist forces. It was important that all supporters of the FTA lobbied hard to ensure ratification of the EU-Vietnam agreement. The FTA was a potential model for future agreements with SE Asian countries.
Mr Petriccione said that the EU had developed very close economic relations with Vietnam in the past decade and the two economies were largely complementary. Vietnam had embraced free trade quicker than most Asian countries. Vietnam was involved in the supply chains of many European companies. He expected ratification to be done by 2018.
By Fraser Cameron
Just a week after the issue of market economy status dominated the EU-China summit in Beijing, the Commission discussed on 20 July the results of the impact assessment undertaken by DG Trade.
The discussion focused on the political, economic and legal implications of a decision on MES which must be taken by the end of the year. For China the matter is clear. China was promised MES 15 years after it joined in 2001. There can be no arguing – the promise must be kept. For the EU there is a strong legal view that the Chinese are in the right and failure to grant China MES would result in a lengthy fight at the WTO which the EU would probably lose.
Developing Asia is expected to grow steadily despite external pressures and should meet earlier forecasts for 2016 and 2017, aided by resilience in the region's two largest economies—the People's Republic of China and India, says a new Asian Development Bank (ADB) study.
In an update of its flagship annual economic publication, Asian Development Outlook (ADO) 2016, ADB kept its 2016 and 2017 gross domestic product (GDP) growth forecasts unchanged from its March estimates of 5.7% for each year.
In the EU’s recent Global Strategy Federica Mogherini reiterated that the EU “will continue to support state-building and reconciliation processes in Afghanistan together with our regional and international partners.” To this end the EU is hosting a major conference in Brussels on 5 October which will include the President of Afghanistan and representatives from the US, China, Russia, India, Japan, the World Bank, UN and NATO.
The international community has now been involved in Afghanistan for 15 years but what has been achieved? What are the realistic prospects for Afghanistan? How long will the EU and others have to support the country? What are the political, economic and security trends? What are the priorities? How bad is corruption? How solid is regional support for Afghanistan and what are the hidden agendas?
EU-ASIA Centre is a think tank dedicated to promoting closer relations between the EU and Asia.
19 September 2016
16 September 2016
16 September 2016