Such agreements illustrate the strength of EU-Vietnam relations and the opportunities Europe sees in the Southeast Asian country. The EU is achieving a long-term goal of increasing its influence and expansion in ASEAN markets by targeting Vietnam, and European entrepreneurs will have better access to one of the fastest growing Asian economies when the agreements come into force. Despite the interruption of the coronavirus pandemic and the slowdown in the global economy, Vietnam is expected to continue to record economic growth of 4.8% this year, returning to 6.8% in 2021. The BTA is the most comprehensive trade agreement Vietnam has ever signed. Below are a number of links that provide additional information about the BTA. Several reports at the top of the link list contain readable summaries and/or explanations of what the BTA covers and means. Please note that non-U.S. companies websites and government reports do not represent the views of the U.S. government and are not relevant interpretations of the BTA.
In February 2020, the European Parliament ratified a free trade agreement (FTA) and an Investment Protection Agreement (PPI) with Vietnam. MEPs (ENPs) voted in favour of the agreements in Strasbourg. Vietnam can also take advantage of institutional reforms and bilateral cooperation mechanisms and reaffirm to investors that it is the regional investment centre for improving technology, human resources and labour productivity. The Vietnamese Ministry of Commerce considered that the signing of these agreements would create opportunities to participate in the restructuring of new supply chains, amid the consequences of the coronavirus pandemic. Given the recent slowdown in trade growth in the major economies, Vietnam remains an outlier. The country`s import and export sales exceeded $500 billion in 2019. The country`s advantages, which resulted from the escalation of trade tensions between the United States and China in June 2019, eventually do so. At that time, the country`s GDP increased by 6.71% (fourth from the previous quarter, Q2 2019), which was a sign of manufacturing export growth of 9.14%.
For many, this diversion of trade was a welcome benefit, unexpected in many ways. However, for Vietnamese politicians, the benefits have not been unprecedented. When Trade and Industry Minister Tran Tuan Anh was asked about export implementation in 2019, he referred to the national development strategy for sustainable imports and exports adopted in 2011. The strategy calls for export growth of 10% by 2020. Since 2011, the strategy has led to extensive reforms in the divestment of state-owned enterprises and the creation of a credit-friendly trading environment. When the BTA came into force on December 10, 2001, the United States immediately granted Vietnamese products and businesses access to the U.S. market – a market that accounts for nearly one-third of global GDP – on the same basis as other countries with which they have normal trade relations. This means, among other things, that Vietnamese products are now subject to much lower tariffs, which increase from an average of 40% to 3% on average when they enter the United States.
The Vietnamese side has pledged to reform its trade and investment regime to provide a much fairer and more equitable “playground” for American companies and products in Vietnam. In many cases, Vietnam`s commitments are gradually introduced over several years, in recognition of the state of transition of the Vietnamese economy and the important reforms needed to bring its regulatory system in line with international standards. Overall, ASEAN is the EU`s third largest trading partner outside Europe, after the United States and China. Ensuring better access for EU exporters to the dynamic ASEAN market is an EU priority. Negotiations for a trade and investment agreement between the region and