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European Parliament hearing on EU-Vietnam FTAA hearing on the EU-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement took place at the European Parliament in Brussels on November 12.

This was the European Parlimanent’s second hearing on the EU-Vietnam FTA.Mauro Petriccinone, Chief Negotiator for the EU-Vietnam FTA negotiations announced the results of the fifth negotiation round held in Hanoi from November 4-8.

During the negotiation round, both sides agreed on four contents including the building of an equal playing field for state and private enterprises, intellectual property rights reltated to copyright and author’s rights, geographical indications, and sustainable development.

Petriccinone was optimistic about the negotiation process and affirmed that Vietnam is an EU’s important ASEAN partner and also a potential export and investment market of the EU. Vietnam provides gateway for the EU to approach other ASEAN countries.

He also highlighted Vietnam’s recent economic achievements and efforts to build a set of regulations relating to trade and investment.

Vu Ba Phu, Minister Counsellor to Belgium and Luxembourg, said the hearing proved positive with Petriccinone declaring for the first time that both sides were strongly commited to concluding negotiations late next year, well ahead of October 2014 in order to release an official statement when the tenth Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM 10) is held in Milan, Italy the same month.

Leaders of both sides are scheduled to take part in online conferences, and sideline meetings in order to address technical matters in the negotiation process.

The EU is also in the process of FTA negotiations with some other ASEAN countries after concluding FTAs with Singapore, Thailand and Malaysia. Vietnam is the EU’s important partner in terms of politics, economics, and trade and its fifth largest partner in Asia.

The EU has been Vietnam’s largest export market with bilateral trade turnover growing considerably. In the first half of the year, Vietnam’s exports to the EU increased by 25% and EU’s exports to Vietnam by 20%.

There is high hope that the EU-Vietnam FTA will help Vietnam attract more foreign investment, enhance its competitiveness and create dynamic industries and use human resources effectively.

(VOV)

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