The European Parliament (EP) advocates the signing of the EU-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA) to since it benefits Vietnam, the EU and other Southeast Asian nations, executives of the EP’s International Trade Committee (INTA) have said.

During a reception for a Vietnamese delegation of the National Assembly’s Committee on External Relations led by its Vice Chairperson Ngo Duc Manh in Brussels, Belgium on May 12, INTA Chairman Bernd Lange and Vice Chairman Jan Zahradil hailed Vietnam’s reputation in the international arena, highlighting the country’s position as a gateway to the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN).

The two INTA leaders spoke of Vietnam’s significant economic achievements, socio-political order and security, saying these have created impetus for foreign investment in the country.

For his part, Manh expressed his hope that the INTA would push for the conclusion of negotiations on and the signing of the EVFTA to foster trade exchanges between Vietnam and the EU.

Previously, Chief Negotiator of the EU Mauro Petriccione hailed the progress of negotiations on the EVFTA, saying the two sides could wrap up negotiations at the final talks in this June.

He highlighted the outcomes of the negotiation rounds and expressed his belief that the two sides would soon reach consensus on matters raised by Manh, such in the garment-textiles sector, governmental procurement and tax cuts.

He also called for joint efforts to address bottlenecks to speed up the negotiation process on and ratification of the trade deal.

The same day, European Commissioner for Trade Cecilia Malmstrom, and representatives of EU bodies, and other international, social and civil organisations gathered at a round table for the EVFTA.

Participants, including Vietnamese Ambassador to Belgium Vuong Thua Phong, discussed trade, sustainable development and human rights in the relationship between the EU and Vietnam.-VNA