It took more than eight years and a dozen rounds of dialogue for both sides to negotiate the EVFTA. Nicolas Audier, President of EuroCham in Vietnam, welcomed the results of the vote: « The EVFTA is now more important than ever, as trade wars and a global pandemic disrupt normal affairs on an unprecedented scale. Free, fair and rules-based trade is the best roadmap for economic growth, and Vietnam will now have privileged access to an EU consumer market of around 500 million people who want to do business and invest with a strong, secure and prosperous nation in the heart of Asia. Vietnam currently enjoys trade preferences with the EU under the generalised preference system. The entry into force of TUEFTA comes amid growing global trade tensions with China. Combined with the ongoing COVID 19 pandemic, this has contributed to the growing trend of companies diversifying their supply chains, with Vietnam rapidly becoming the main beneficiary. The EU is already Vietnam`s second -largest destination for products. EMU will give new impetus to this important trade route and is an important step towards ending the security of EU investors and other global companies wishing to establish or develop trade relations between Vietnam and the EU, as well as the basis for creating fair and effective trading conditions. The APC regulates the overall relationship between the EU and Vietnam. It is based on common interests and principles such as equality, mutual respect, the rule of law and human rights. It broadens the scope of cooperation in areas such as trade, the environment, energy, science and technology, good governance, tourism, culture, migration, the fight against terrorism and the fight against corruption and organised crime. It also allows Vietnam and the EU to further strengthen cooperation on global and regional challenges, including climate change, terrorism and the non-proliferation of weapons of mass destruction. The Free Trade Agreement between the European Union and Vietnam (EVFTA) is the second free trade agreement between the EU and an ASEAN country after Singapore.
Vietnam is the second country to have signed trade and investment agreements in the region. On 8 June 2020, the National Assembly of Vietnam unanimously ratified the new free trade agreement between Vietnam and the European Union (« TFUE ») and the UE-Vietnam Parallel Agreement on Investment Protection (EUVIPA). It was preceded by the approval of both agreements by the European Parliament on 12 February 2020. The TFUE came into force on 1 August 2020. EUVIPA, which falls under the shared competence1 of the EU and its member states, is currently being nationally ratified by the regional and national parliaments of the EU Member States. The TFUE is discussed below. We will treat EUVIPA separately if this agreement is ratified and enters into force. The TFUE is an important step in EU-Vietnam relations and further strengthens bilateral economic integration and trade liberalization on the basis of rules.