With an overwhelming majority of votes in favour, the European Parliament (EP) approved the European Union – Vietnam Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA) along with the EU – Vietnam Investment Protection Agreement (EVIPA) on February 12, thereby marking a new stage in relations between Vietnam and the EU
The EVFTA was first ratified, passing with 401 votes out of a total of 633, with the EVIPA passing shortly after with 407 votes in favour.
Upon speaking to the press following the ratification, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Bui Thanh Son showed Vietnam’s elation at the EP making important steps to solidify mutual ties in terms of both strategy and economics.
Deputy Minister Son also highlighted the great significance that the ratification of the agreement holds, with both sides set to celebrate the 30th anniversary of diplomatic relations this year.
The EP’s decision shows that MPs have an appreciation of the nation’s role and standing amid a co-operative partnership between the two sides. Both trade deals are set to create long-term, sustainable, co-operation frameworks, especially in terms of the economy with trade and investment will receive a boost, the Vietnamese diplomat noted.
Throughout the session when the trade deals were being debated, MPs overwhelmingly stated that the two trade pacts signed with the country are steps in the right direction for the EU.
Parliamentarian Sean Kelly of Ireland voiced his support for both trade agreements, noting the huge potential of the trade pacts to solidify the relationship between the EU and Southeast Asia.
The trade deals will also serve to have a positive effect in terms of the environment, in addition to helping investment protection, whilst there are an array of great opportunities for Ireland, with Kelly expressing his hope that the agreements will come into effect as soon as possible.
As a result of the ratification of the two free trade agreements, the economic relations between both sides will be profoundly changed in the coming time due to the trade deals detailing a wide-ranging and comprehensive level of commitment that covers the economy, trade, investment fields, and sustainable development issues.
According to research conducted by the Ministry of Planning and Investment, the EVFTA and EVIPA are poised to elevate the country’s GDP by 4.6 per cent, whilst increasing exports to the EU by 42.7 per cent by 2025. The European Commission estimated that the EU's GDP will surge by US$ 29.5 billion and its exports to Vietnam will grow by 29 per cent by 2035.