Vietnamese officials, representatives from the European Union (EU) delegation, and experts from Singapore, Thailand, and the US attended a seminar in Hanoi on December 5 to discuss challenges in the implementation of the Vietnam-EU Free Trade Agreement (VEFTA).

Opening the function, Chairman of the Party Central Committee’s Commission for External Relations Hoang Binh Quan said during recent meetings, Vietnamese and EU leaders emphasised their political resolve to accelerate the final stage of the VEFTA negotiation so as to sign this deal in early 2015.

The EU has surpassed the US to become Vietnam ’s top export market and its member nations are also leading foreign investors in the Southeast Asian country, he noted.

Quan said the enforcement of the VEFTA will open up a multitude of great opportunities for both sides. Particularly, Vietnamese businesses will gain better access to the 500 million-strong EU market and attract more investment from this bloc.

It is crucial to identify challenges and devise feasible comprehensive solutions, especially in economic, trade, legal, and institutional aspects, to ensure practical benefits to be soon brought by the FTA, he said, adding that the seminar is seen as a contribution to efforts taken by Vietnamese ministries and localities to speed up the implementation of this agreement.

Rabea Brauer, head of the Konrad Adenauer Stiftung foundation’s office in Vietnam , said each country needs to integrate strongly into the global economy, and the VEFTA will fuel collaboration not only between EU member countries and Vietnam but also between the two regions.

The seminar included a discussion on economic and commercial challenges and measures, and another on legal ones.-VNA