European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker said that he welcomes the decision. He said “After Singapore, the agreements with Vietnam are the second to have been concluded between the EU and a Southeast Asian country, and represent stepping stones to a greater engagement between Europe and the region.”
EU Commissioner for Trade Cecilia Malmstrom praised Vietnam’s potential, saying that it is a vibrant and promising market with over 95 million customers. She said that besides offering significant economic opportunities, the trade agreement ensures that trade, investment, and sustainable development go hand in hand by setting the highest standards of labor, safety, environmental, and consumer protection.
Experts of the WTO and the Integration Center of the Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry said that with the free trade agreement, Vietnam will be more open to the EU in services, healthcare, environment, education, and finance. EU enterprises are promised lower automobile tariffs and a more open public procurement market.
Once the agreement takes effect, over 99 percent of tariffs on goods from both sides will be lifted. Vietnam will remove 65 percent of import tariff on EU goods. Remaining tariffs will be removed in the next decade.