EU Begins Free-Trade Talks with Vietnam

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Mar. 3 – The European Union and Vietnam have announced that they will formally be opening free-trade negotiations as Europe continues to strengthen their economic ties with a rapidly-growing Vietnam.

The free-trade announcement comes following a meeting between EU Trade Commissioner Karel De Gucht and Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung in Hanoi on Tuesday.

Trade in goods between Europe and Vietnam has increased at a rate of 12 percent a year from 2004 to 2008, according to the European Commission. Vietnam’s largest exports are textiles, shoes, seafood, and coffee.

EU officials have stated that they will be pursuing free-trade deals with all ASEAN members, but that it is in their best interest to do it on an individual basis.