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EU, Vietnam Agree ‘in Principle’ on Trade Deal - European Commission

© AP Photo / Yves LoggheEuropean Commissioner for Home Affairs Cecilia Malmstrom walks in to address the media, at the European Commission headquarters in Brussel
European Commissioner for Home Affairs Cecilia Malmstrom walks in to address the media, at the European Commission headquarters in Brussel - Sputnik International
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According to the European Commission website, EU has come to a substantive agreement on a trade pact with Vietnam.

The Sunset in Hanoi - Sputnik International
Cutting the Import Duties: South Korea, Vietnam Sign Free Trade Deal
MOSCOW (Sputnik) The European Union has come to a substantive agreement on a trade pact with Vietnam, a statement on the European Commission website said Tuesday.

Earlier in the day, EU Trade Commissioner Cecilia Malmstrom and Vietnamese Minister of Industry and Trade Vu Huy Hoang had a telephone conversation on the deal.

"Today the EU and Vietnam have reached an agreement in principle for a free trade agreement (FTA), after two and a half years of intense negotiations," the statement read.

According to Malmstrom, the deal is expected to promote bilateral trade and provide impetus for the economic development of other countries in the region.

"We have a deal. This finely balanced agreement will boost trade with one of Asia’s most dynamic economies. It sets a new, better and modern model for Free Trade Agreements between the EU and developing countries, and establishes a good standard for the trade relationship between the EU and South East Asia as a whole," Malmstrom was quoted as saying in the statement.

The text of the agreement awaits finalization by the negotiating teams of both sides. It requires the approval of both the Council and the European Parliament.

Under the agreement, Vietnam will eliminate tariffs and remove practically all of its export duties, streamline trade in telecommunications, transport, postal and courier services. Its market will also be opened to EU investment by the easing or removal of barriers, in particular for food products and beverage manufacture.

In 2014, the European Union was the second trading partner for Hanoi after Beijing, representing 10 percent of Vietnam's total trade. The same year, EU-Vietnam trade in goods exceeded 28.2 billion euro ($30.9 billion), according to the European Commission's data.

© REUTERS / KhamVietnam's Trade Minister Vu Huy Hoang (R) shakes hands with EU's Ambassador - Head of Delegation to Vietnam Franz Jessen after a news conference in Hanoi August 4, 2015
Vietnam's Trade Minister Vu Huy Hoang (R) shakes hands with EU's Ambassador - Head of Delegation to Vietnam Franz Jessen after a news conference in Hanoi August 4, 2015 - Sputnik International
Vietnam's Trade Minister Vu Huy Hoang (R) shakes hands with EU's Ambassador - Head of Delegation to Vietnam Franz Jessen after a news conference in Hanoi August 4, 2015
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