Processing seafood for exports (Illustrative image. Source: VNA)
Brussels (VNA) – The cooperation between Vietnam and the European Union (EU), especially the conclusion of the bilateral free trade agreement at the end of 2015, was highly valued at a meeting held in Belgium on September 27.

Over 350 international guests, staff of the Vietnamese Embassy in Belgium and overseas Vietnamese gathered at the event to exchange opinions on issues of common interests.

Vietnamese Ambassador to Belgium and Luxembourg Vuong Thua Phong said Vietnam’s friendly ties and collaboration with the EU and Belgium in particular has been unceasingly enhanced.

He particularly hailed the conclusion of negotiations on the Vietnam-EU Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA), with the two sides now conducting legal procedures to submit the agreement to their parliaments for ratification.

President of the parliamentary friendship group with Vietnam in the European Parliament (EP) Jan Zahradil said many members of the EP support the sound relations between the EU and the Southeast Asian country.

He said the conclusion of the EVFTA negation at the end of last year as a step forward, saying this is the first deal that the EU signed with a developing country.

The EVFTA was officially signed on December 2, 2015, after over three years of negotiation.

Once it enters into force, the EU will eliminate about 85.6 percent of tax lines on Vietnam’s exports. The rate will increase to 99 percent seven years later.

Meanwhile, Vietnam will liberalise 65 percent of import duties on EU exports. Ten years later, about 99.8 percent of EU goods exported to Vietnam will enjoy a zero percent tax rate.-VNA