EFTA-Vietnam High-Level Meeting Welcomes Positive Recommendation on Free Trade Agreement
An EFTA-Vietnam Joint Study Group composed of government experts from both sides wsa established in May 2010. After three meetings between August 2010 and January 2011, the Group finalised its Report, coming to a positive recommendation on the feasibility of a Free Trade Trade Agreement.
The Report of the Group was welcomed by Tran Quoc Khanh, Deputy Minister of Industry and Trade of Vietnam, and Halvard Ingebrigtsen, State Secretary in the Norwegian Ministry of Trade and Industry, on the occasion of a high-level meeting on 7 March 2011 in Hanoi. The following day, the high representatives participated in a workshop in Ho Chi Minh City to present the findings of the Joint Study Group to stakeholders, including local and foreign business communities.
The Joint Study Group's Report addresses: trade in goods, including rules of origin, technical standards and trade facilitation; trade in services; investment; intellectual property rights; sustainable development; competition; government procurement; and technical cooperation. It concludes that there is significant potential for further developing trade and investment relations, notably through a Free Trade Agreement. To access the Report, click here.
Alongside the work of the Joint Study Group, two workshops were held in Vietnam in the course of 2010 to promote closer bilateral relations. Furthermore, the EFTA Parliamentary Committee visited Vietnam in late February 2011 to discuss the merits of strengthened trade relations between the two sides.
Merchandise trade between the EFTA States and Vietnam has experienced strong growth in recent years, reaching USD 3.4 billion in 2010. EFTA's top exports to Vietnam include machinery and mechanical appliances; pharmaceutical products; and fish and other marine products. EFTA imports mainly textile and seafood products.