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Vietnam proceeds with EVFTA ratification

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HCMC – The National Assembly Standing Committee (NASC) has asked the prime minister to assign ministries and other relevant agencies to complete the paperwork for the ratification of the EU-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA) to submit to the NASC at its 44th meeting, scheduled for mid-April.

Once ratified by the National Assembly of Vietnam, the agreement, which eliminates over 99% of all tariffs between the two sides, will take effect.

According to the Ministry of Industry and Trade, the EVFTA was approved by the European Council on March 30 after the European Parliament’s ratification on February 12. This decision clears the path, on the European Union side, for the agreement to come into force.

The ministry has worked with other ministries and departments to take the next steps for the ratification of the agreement on the Vietnamese side.

The ministry submitted paperwork on the EVFTA ratification to the Government on February 21. After adjusting it based on the suggestions of the Government, the ministry sent it to the prime minister for consideration on March 24. The ministry has also introduced an action plan to prepare for the ratification and implementation of the EVFTA, as well as guidelines for Vietnamese enterprises to make the most of opportunities and incentives offered by the agreement.

Following the Ministry of Industry and Trade’s suggestion, the Government has asked ministries and other relevant agencies to build, supplement and adjust laws and policies to ensure they meet the EVFTA’s regulations.

Luong Hoang Thai, head of the Multilateral Trade Policy Department under the Ministry of Industry and Trade, said that it was important to prepare legal documents on the rules of origin for the EVFTA’s ratification and enforcement, and the ministry will issue a guiding circular on this issue. The relevant agencies are working on the contents of the circular and will determine the date it goes into effect.

Vietnam is the European Union’s second-largest trade partner after Singapore in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, with bilateral trade quintupling over the past 10 years.

The EVFTA will open greater access for Vietnamese businesses to the EU market with a population of 508 million and gross domestic product estimated at US$18 trillion. The Ministry of Industry and Trade estimated that the EVFTA would help Vietnam’s exports to the EU expand by 42.7% in 2025 and 44.37% in 2030.

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