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.
The Global Strategy presented by Federica Mogherini to the European Council last week called for a deepening of economic diplomacy and an increased security role for the EU in Asia.
Brexit has been a huge shock to the EU with implications for all major relationships including China with whom the EU is negotiating a bilateral investment agreement. The EU is also about to make a momentous decision on market economy status (MES) but how will Brexit affect this debate?
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