Conservative MEPs welcome EU-Vietnam free trade agreement

05-Aug-2015 @ 15:00

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Conservative MEPs have warmly welcomed the announcement that the EU and Vietnam have agreed an ambitious free trade agreement (FTA), after almost three years of negotiations.

The FTA, the second with a south-east Asian nation after Singapore, will eliminate over 99% of tariff barriers over a seven year period.

The agreement will also open up the Vietnamese market for service operators, improving investment and job opportunities for EU companies in sectors such as banking, insurance and business services.

There will also be particular benefit to the UK's Scotch whisky industry, which had exports to Vietnam last year of £3.5m.

Importantly, the FTA also includes a comprehensive chapter on sustainable development, ensuring the respect of fundamental workers' rights and sustainable management of natural resources.

Conservative spokesman for trade in the European Parliament, Emma McClarkin said: "I strongly welcome the fact that we finally have a deal between the EU and one of Asia's most dynamic economies.

"In 2014 EU-Vietnam trade was worth over €28bn, so this agreement has huge potential for EU jobs and growth, particularly the UKs competitive, outward-looking businesses."

The East Midlands MEP added: "As a Conservative, I passionately believe that agreements like this should be a key priority for the EU – focusing on liberalising trade rather than creating burdensome red tape.

"My colleagues and I will continue to fight for further free trade deals, which will give British businesses a chance to properly compete on the world's stage".

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