EU and Vietnam achieve FTA breakthrough

By Michelle Perrett

- Last updated on GMT

Vietnam looks set to open up to EU meat exports
Vietnam looks set to open up to EU meat exports

Related tags: International trade, Eu, Beef, Pork, Poultry

EU meat exports to Vietnam offer increased potential now an in-principle Free Trade Agreement (FTA) has been forged, after two-and-a-half years of intense negotiations.

Vietnam will open its market to the EU, eliminating tariffs and removing almost all of its export duties. The agreement will also remove or ease limitations on the manufacturing of food products and beverages, as well as in the non-food sectors. 

Under the terms of the agreement, which will be phased in, frozen pork meat will be duty-free after seven years and beef after three years. Chicken will be fully liberalised after 10 years. 

Commissioner Cecilia Malmström said: “This finely balanced agreement will boost trade with one of Asia’s most dynamic economies. It sets a new, better and modern model for FTAs between the EU and developing countries, and establishes a good standard for the trade relationship between the EU and South East Asia as a whole.”​ 

Once finalised, the agreement will then need to be approved by the Council and the European Parliament. 

Flagship agricultural products

The agreement will also improve the protection in Vietnam of Geographical Indications (GIs) representing EU flagship agricultural products.

In 2014, the EU was the second-largest trading partner for Vietnam after China (not including trade within ASEAN), representing 10% of total Vietnamese trade. The EU was Vietnam’s second export destination (after the US), with the EU purchasing as much as 18% of Vietnam’s global exports.

In 2014, EU-Vietnam trade in goods was worth over €28.2 billion, with €22.1bn of imports from Vietnam into the EU and €6.2bn of exports from the EU to Vietnam.

Related topics: Meat

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