Chief negotiators from Vietnam and the EU have pledged to complete discussions about a free trade agreement (FTA) by the end of this year.

Former Minister of Trade and Advisor to the Government negotiation delegation Truong Dinh Tuyen said the two sides are determinated to conclude negotiations in September after ending the sixth round of talks for the FTA in Brussels on January 17.

He added that both parties have accelerated the pace of negotiations with a view to having the deal done and ready to sign by the time Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung visits the European Union in October.

Tuyen emphasised that when the agreement is eventually signed, Vietnam will create a more transparent investment environment for EU businesses while boosting exports and creating jobs.

Up for discussion in the most recent negotiations were trade in goods and services, a public investment framework, customs cooperation, regulations for product origin, technical barriers to trade (TBT), sustainable development and relevant legislation.

Head of the Directorate General for Trade of the European Commission Mauro Petriccione said in areas where there is still disagreement, the two sides will continue negotiations to narrow the gap and reach a compromise.

He said that there is still some way to go before the deal is ready to sign, but stated his belief that the FTA talks will reach a successful conclusion before the end of this year.-VNA