Yesterday the EU and Vietnam reached an agreement in principle for a free trade agreement (FTA), after two and a half years of negotiations.
Pham Hong Hai, CEO of HSBC in Vietnam, commented on the news:
“As the leading international bank with a mission to facilitate world trade, HSBC is very excited about this deal. By reaching this agreement, the EU and Vietnam will advance trade relations between one of the world’s biggest economic blocs, and one of Asia’s most dynamic economies. With trade between the EU and Vietnam increasing three fold in the past decade to 28 billion per year, the FTA is expected to raise this number to significantly higher levels. And with the removal of nearly all tariffs on goods traded between the two regions, Vietnam stands to benefit from even more freer exports to one of its already biggest export markets. As this is the first agreement of its kind that the EU has signed with a developing country, it demonstrates the continued importance of Vietnam, both as a member of ASEAN, and as a growing Asian economy offering a 90 million consumer market. At its June 2015 Investor Day, HSBC announced ASEAN as a key priority region as part of its ‘Pivot to Asia’ business strategy. The focus will see HSBC accelerate its investment to Asia with a large focus on ASEAN.”