The Foreign Ministry’s spokeswoman Le Thi Thu Hang. (Photo: VNA)

Hanoi (VNA) - Vietnam and the European Union (EU) will continue efforts to complete procedures so as to officially sign, ratify and enforce the EU-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA), said the Foreign Ministry’s spokeswoman Le Thi Thu Hang.

Hang made the remarks at the ministry’s regular press conference in Hanoi on October 25 while answering reporters’ queries about the process of signing the EVFTA.

The European Commission (EC) on October 17 agreed to submit the EVFTA to the European Council to seek its approval for the official signing of the deal, she said.

This was an important step, demonstrating the resolve of both sides to push ahead with the agreement, thus contributing to the bilateral comprehensive partnership and cooperation, Hang said, adding that the move also signaled their support for free trade for mutual benefits, as well as for an open multilateral trade system.

The EVFTA is a new-generation trade agreement between Vietnam and 28 EU member countries. The negotiation of the deal was concluded on December 1, 2015. The official text of the agreement was publicized on February 1, 2016.

By the end of August 2018, 24 out of the 28 EU countries had invested in Vietnam, with 2,141 valid projects worth some 24.17 billion USD. The EU ranks fifth among foreign investors in Vietnam, after the Republic of Korea, Taiwan (China), Japan and Singapore.

Among the EU investors, the Netherlands takes the lead with 318 projects valued at 9.16 billion USD, followed by France with 527 projects worth 3.63 billion USD, the UK and Germany.-VNA