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EU, Vietnam sign free trade agreement

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European Commissioner for Trade Cecilia Malmstrom (L), Romania’s Minister of Business Environment, Trade and Entrepreneurship Stefan Radu Oprea (C) and Vietnam’s Ministry of Industry and Trade Tran Tuan Anh (R) sing the EU-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement in Hanoi on 30 June 2019. – The long-awaited deal inked in Hanoi on June 30 will eventually slash duties on 99 percent of Europe’s imports from Vietnam once the agreement is ratified. (Photo by Tien TUAN / AFP)

HANOI: Vietnam and the European Union signed a free trade agreement on Sunday, opening opportunities to further boost trade between the euro bloc and one of Southeast Asia’s biggest manufacturing nations.

The agreement, which was signed by European Commissioner for Trade Cecilia Malmstrom and Vietnamese Trade Minister Tran Tuan Anh in Hanoi, Vietnam’s capital, will eliminate almost all tariffs for goods traded between Vietnam and the EU’s 28 member countries.

“It is a special day for relations between the EU and Vietnam. The agreement has opened a new horizon for the development of both sides,” Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc said after he witnessed the signing.

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