欧洲议会通过越南与欧盟自贸协定

中新网2月13日电 据“中央社”报道,越南与欧盟自由贸易协定(EVFTA)批准程序继续向前迈进一步,12日获得欧洲议会表决通过。越南与欧盟自由贸易协定再经越南国会审议通过后,最快2020年7月生效。

据报道,越南与欧盟于2012年启动自由贸易协定(FTA)谈判,经过14轮洽谈,双方于2015年底宣布达成协议。经过法律审查后,欧盟于2017年提议将自由贸易协定,区分为越南与欧盟自由贸易协定(EVFTA)及投资保护协定(EVIPA)。

越南与欧洲联盟2019年6月底在河内签署上述两项协定,在正式实施之前,两项协定必须先在欧洲议会通过,投资保护协定除了欧洲议会外,还须有各成员国议会批准通过后才能生效。

据报道援引越南媒体称,欧洲议会12日以401票支持、192票反对和40票弃权的表决结果,通过了越南与欧盟自由贸易协定(EVFTA);以407票支持、188票反对和53票弃权的结果,通过投资保护协定(EVIPA)。

报道称,两项协定获得欧洲议会批准通过后,越南工商部等部门马上召开记者会,表示越方将加快批准越南与欧盟自由贸易协定(EVFTA)的相关流程,预计提交2020年5月开议的国会审议。

越南外交部副部长裴青山表示,欧洲议会首次通过与发展中国家的高品质自由贸易协定,凸显欧盟继续促进符合规则的贸易和投资自由化的决心。他说,这2项协定将为越南与欧盟带来巨大经济利益,有助推动双方关系发展。

越南工商部部长陈俊英表示,若批准相关事宜顺利进行,越南与欧盟自由贸易协定(EVFTA)最快7月生效。

根据该项协定,越南将与欧盟28个经济体互享关税优惠,协定一旦生效后,欧盟立即取消越南进口税85.6%左右,占越南对欧盟出口金额的70.3%。另一方面,由欧盟出口到越南也将有48.5%的税立刻被取消,占欧盟对越南出口金额的64.5%;双方货品99%的关税将在10年内陆续取消。

越南是继新加坡之后,第2个与欧盟签署自由贸易协定的东南亚国家。越南工商部数据显示,2019年越南对欧盟出口金额达414.8亿美元。从欧盟进口额达149.1亿美元,欧盟是仅次于美国的越南第2大出口市场。

EU Parliament approves landmark trade pact with Vietnam

By Dat Nguyen   February 12, 2020

The European Parliament Wednesday voted in favor of a landmark free trade agreement with Vietnam that will eliminate almost all tariffs over the next ten years.

The E.U.-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA) was voted in favor by 401 European Union lawmakers. There were 192 votes against and 40 abstentions.

The agreement, which went through a negotiation period of eight years, will remove virtually all customs duties between the two parties over the next ten years, including on Europe’s main export products to Vietnam: machinery, cars and chemicals.

Vietnam’s National Assembly is expected to vote on the trade pact in May, and it is set to be effective one month after both parties have completed all legal procedures.

Deputy Minister of Industry and Trade Do Thang Hai told reporters that the trade pact is a major step for Vietnam’s trade sector, but businesses such as fruit exporters will need to meet the E.U.’s high standards to take advantage of the deal.

Under the deal, Vietnam will eliminate 99 percent of its import duties over 10 years and the E.U. will do the same over seven years.

The pact will open up Vietnam’s services, including post, banking and shipping and public procurement markets, align some standards and protect E.U. food and drinks, such as French champagne or Greek feta cheese, from imitations being sold in the country.

Belgian lawmaker Geert Bourgeois said: “The deal will boost prosperity, create new and better paid jobs, cut costs for companies big and small, and give them better access to each other’s markets.”

European lawmakers on Wednesday also voted in favor of the Investment Protection Agreement (IPA), which includes modern rules on investment protection enforceable through the new Investment Court System and ensures that the right of the governments on both sides to regulate in the interest of their citizens is preserved.

“The IPA is a step forward in Vietnam’s orientation to move from quantity to quality of foreign direct investment. It will help us procure more advanced, high tech and sustainable investment, especially projects with high added value,” Nguyen Chi Dung, Minister of Planning and Investment, had said earlier.

The International Labour Organization (ILO) has expressed its support for the trade pact.

“Labour and environment requirements of EVFTA would help to facilitate win-win and sustainable achievement for Vietnam by avoiding the “race to the bottom” and ensuring that the growth today does not come at expense of future generation’s opportunities,” said ILO Vietnam Director Chang-Hee Lee.

The EVFTA is E.U.’s second deal with an ASEAN country, after Singapore, and one of few with a developing country.

The E.U. was Vietnam’s second largest export market last year behind the U.S. with a value of $41.48 billion, down one percent year-on-year.