Greece will enjoy a new trade arrangement with Vietnam which will see the removal of customs duties, non- tariff barriers and geographical indicator protections on the majority of its exported products.
The new trade arrangement comes after the European Parliament’s Committee on International Trade backed the free trade and investment protection agreements between the EU and Vietnam and gave its consent to the free trade agreement by 29 votes, six votes against and five abstentions and recommends that EP Plenary should do the same.
The agreement will remove virtually all tariffs between the two parties in ten years. It will protect emblematic European products, and allow Europe to access the Vietnamese public procurement market.
The agreement is also an instrument to protect the environment and further social progress in Vietnam. The trade committee’s demands from Vietnam, include labour and human rights, as well as the mechanism ensuring the enforceability of the sustainability clauses, which was adopted by 29 votes for, nine against and two abstentions.
The main elements of the trade deal are as follows:
Removal of customs duties: 65% of EU exports to Vietnam will be immediately duty-free, with the rest – including motorcycles, cars, pharmaceuticals, chemicals, wines, chicken and pork – gradually liberalised over ten years. 71% of Vietnamese exports to the EU will be duty-free on day one, with the rest catching up in seven years.
Duty-free Vietnamese exports of sensitive agricultural products, such as rice, garlic or eggs, will be limited;
Non-tariff barriers: will be eliminated in the automotive sector, export and import licensing, and customs procedures. Vietnam accepted the “Made in EU” marking, beyond national markings of origin, for non-agricultural products;
Geographical indications: 169 emblematic EU products such as Parmigiano Reggiano cheese, Champagne, or Rioja wine, will enjoy protection in Vietnam, as will 39 Vietnamese products in the EU;
Services: EU companies will have improved access to business, environmental, postal and courier, banking, insurance, and maritime transport services in Vietnam;
Public procurement: EU firms will be able to bid for contracts with Vietnamese ministries, state-owned enterprises, as well as with Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City;
Sustainable development: there are legally-binding rules on climate, labour, and human rights. The agreement commits Vietnam to apply the Paris Agreement. Vietnam scheduled the ratification of two remaining bills on the abolition of forced labour and on freedom of association by 2020 and 2023, respectively. If there are human rights breaches, the trade deal can be suspended.