31 Jul 2020

DIGITALEUROPE welcomes the entry into force of the EU-Vietnam Free Trade Agreeement

DIGITALEUROPE members welcome the entry into force, on 1 August 2020, of the Free Trade Agreement (FTA) between the European Union and Vietnam. This new bilateral deal will continue to promote major opportunities for the technology and digitally-transforming industries in the strategically crucial ASEAN region.

Director-General of DIGITALEUROPE Cecilia Bonefeld-Dahl said:

“We congratulate the EU and Vietnam for reaching this historic milestone. The Vietnamese market presents countless opportunities for European companies, as the country continues to embrace Industry 4.0 and to develop its Internet economy.

The EU-Vietnam FTA also gives both parties a perfect springboard for an ever-stronger bilateral relationship, founded on the principle of collaboration for mutual benefit.

We encourage Vietnam to join the expansion of the WTO Information Technology Agreement and the discussions for a WTO e-commerce work track to continue the trade liberalisation in IT goods and services.

We hope to also promote a dialogue on digital regulations and standards, notably on cross-border data transfers, cybersecurity and new technologies. Our sector stands ready to contribute to this joint effort.”

DIGITALEUROPE members are committed to advancing the principles of the trade and sustainable development chapter in the FTA, including human rights and labour rights in Vietnam.

We call upon Member States to ratify as swift as possible the Investment Protection Agreement to provide European investors with a high level of protection and the guarantee of fair treatment while operating in the country.


Background

Vietnam is one of the fastest-growing economies in the world, and its booming digital sector has seen it referred to as a “Dragon being unleashed” in a 2018 report by Google and Singaporean investment company Temasek. Vietnam’s digital economy has been growing at a pace of 40% a year, offering an attractive basis in Asia-Pacific for tech investors.

Europe is a top exporter of high tech products to Vietnam, and European companies will be able to bring their expertise in establishing new standards and further developing the technological innovation and diversification of the country.

Likewise, the Agreement will help our businesses to drive growth from outside Europe’s borders by facilitating trade procedures and cutting tariffs, as well as opening opportunities for our companies in one of Asia’s most attractive investment locations. As we face the challenge of post-COVID economic recovery, this will become more important than ever.

For more information, please contact:
Barry McKeon
Senior Policy Manager Trade and Competition
Aida Khalilova
Communications Officer
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