Vietnam and the European Union have issued a joint statement on direction of concluding negotiations on the EU-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement between the two sides.

The statement was released at the end of the talks between Prime Minister Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung and President of the European Commission (EC) Manuel Barroso in Brussels on October 13.

Following is the full text of the joint statement.

“Leaders re-affirmed the importance of an early conclusion of the Free Trade Agreement between the European Union and Vietnam, as a key instrument to further deepen the bilateral comprehensive partnership and strengthen the flourishing trade and investment relations on the basis of mutual benefits. The European Union and Vietnam intend this Free Trade Agreement to be a modern, comprehensive and balanced agreement that would support their economies in meeting today’s and future challenges, and an essential building block in strengthening the relationship between Europe and South East Asia.

“They reviewed and commended the very good progress and the substantial degree of agreement reached in all areas of negotiation and agreed on the direction to resolve the remaining issues with a view to concluding the negotiations in the next few months. Having discussed the options for the final phase of the negotiations, they agreed to achieve an ambitious and balanced outcome in all the market access areas of the negotiations (trade in goods, trade in services, investment flows, public procurement) as well as in rules and regulatory disciplines (notably, but not only: intellectual property protection, including that of Geographical Indications of both sides; State Enterprises; domestic regulations; investment protection; export duties and export restrictions). Leaders underscored that the completion of the FTA will help Vietnam integrate successfully as a market economy into the global economy.

“To this end, they instructed negotiators to intensify and complete their work in accordance with this agreed joint approach, under their leadership and the guidance of the EU Trade Commissioner and of Vietnam's Minister of Industry and Trade with a view to concluding negotiations in the next few months.”./.