The EPP Group wants to use the Trade and Investment Agreements between Vietnam and the EU as a door opener to access other Asian markets. At the same time, the agreements shall raise environmental, labour and human rights standards in Vietnam.
“The Trade and Investment Agreements with Vietnam can boost our trade and therefore create growth and jobs, both in Europe and Vietnam. The agreements will also help to raise environmental and labour standards and engage Vietnam on human rights according to EU standards,” declared Iuliu Winkler MEP, who negotiated the approval of the agreements on behalf of the EPP Group.
Today, the Parliament’s Trade Committee gave the green light for the ratification of the Trade Agreement and Investment Protection Agreement between the European Union and Vietnam. Through these agreements, EU exports to Vietnam are estimated to increase by around 29 percent, while Vietnam exports to the EU are estimated to grow by up to 18 percent. These figures correspond to export gains of €8 billion by 2035 for EU firms, while Vietnam exports to the EU are expected to grow by €15 billion.
The EU’s main exports to Vietnam are high tech products, including electrical machinery and equipment, aircraft, vehicles, and pharmaceutical products. Vietnam’s main exports to the EU are telephone sets, electronic products, footwear, textiles and clothing, coffee, rice, seafood and furniture.
“In times when the Trump Administration destabilises international trade, we need to push for rules-based trade. The Vietnam Agreements are a door opener for European products and European standards in other parts of Asia. We need trade agreements to ensure stability, protection and benefits for companies and consumers on all sides,” insisted Winkler.
“Champagne, Rioja wine, feta cheese… we will also protect more than 160 traditional European food and drinks products from a specific geographical origin against imitation on the Vietnamese market. It’s clearly a step forward to defend our European products,” the MEP further stated.
A Joint Committee of EU and Vietnamese lawmakers, set up by the agreements, will ensure that environment and labour standards as well as human rights are respected.
“Of course, we do not give a ‘blank check’ to the Vietnamese authorities, but we will monitor the full observance and implementation of all the commitments made,” the MEP continued.
Together with the National Assembly of Vietnam, the European Parliament took up the initiative to set up a Joint Committee, which will scrutinise the implementation of the agreements. “Such direct contact with Vietnamese authorities will provide us with a good platform to engage and address early on any implementation issues that might arise,” Winkler concluded.