Vietnam, European Union Leaders Call for Swift Conclusion of FTA Negotiations

Vietnam's Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung and President of the European Commission José Manuel Barroso are calling for the swift conclusion of the Vietnam-EU Free Trade Agreement (FTA) negotiations. Barroso was in Vietnam early this week upon the invitation of Dung.

The two leaders have agreed to continue encouraging and facilitating Vietnamese and European businesses to step up investment, business and establish partnership, particularly in prioritized areas.

The priority areas include, among others, industry, infrastructure, transportation, energy, finance, services, health, space applications and tourism.

The leaders welcomed the good progress in negotiations towards a Vietnam-EU Free Trade Agreement and expressed the wish to conclude the negotiations swiftly.

They emphasized that a mutually-beneficial Free Trade Agreement (FTA) will offer new business opportunities for economic operators, enhance inflows of Foreign Direct Investment and promote growth and employment.

EU is one of the largest foreign investors in Vietnam with a total of EUR 495 million in 2013.

President Barroso acknowledged the substantial progress Vietnam has made in its transition to a market economy initiated by the Doi moi policy and encouraged Vietnam to pursue the path of economic reform.

The EU and Vietnam agreed to intensify the market economy status (MES) process which aims at enabling Vietnam to qualify for MES as soon as possible towards mutually beneficial and equal partnership.