WINE AND CHEESE AMONG PRODUCTS PROTECTED BY EU-VIETNAM FREE TRADE DEAL
By Susan Lewis
Credit: Andreea Popa/Unsplash
A total of 169 emblematic European products such as Champagne, Rioja wine and Parmigiano Reggiano cheese will enjoy protection in Vietnam when the EU-Vietnam free trade agreement gets the go-ahead in the European Parliament next month.
The deal has won backing from the European Parliament’s Committee on International Trade which recommends the plenary session to commence in the week of 10th February to approve it.
On the other hand, 39 Vietnamese products including Moc Chau tea and Buon Ma Thuot coffee will be protected in Europe.
The EU-Vietnam agreement is the EU’s second deal with a member of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), after Singapore, and one of few with a developing country.
The agreement will remove 99% of all tariffs between the two parties, Vietnam will have a transitional period of up to 10 years to prepare for zero tariffs for some imports including cars.
It will open up Vietnam’s services, including post, banking, shipping and public procurement markets for European companies to access.
Vietnam currently applies tariffs of up to 50% on EU wine, 78% on cars and 35% on machinery.
Many Vietnamese goods benefit from tariff-free access to EU markets under a scheme offered to poorer developing countries now, the two sides agreed that this scheme will be phased out over two years.
Belgian lawmaker Geert Bourgeois, who led discussions in parliament, said today’s vote is a positive signal to the ASEAN region and the rest of the world at a time of rising trade tensions.
“This deal really is a win-win situation. In absolute terms Vietnamese exports of goods and services to the EU will increase by 15 billion Euros while EU exports to Vietnam augment by 8.3 billion Euros by 2035,” he said in a statement.
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