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EBCA welcomes the adoption of Motion for Resolution on the state of play of the EU-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement

EBCA welcomes the adoption of MEP Jan Zahradil’s Motion for Resolution on the state of play of the EU-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement in the last plenary session of the current legislature on 17 April 2014 which encourages the completion of the FTA negotiations.

EBCA companies have been operating in Vietnam since the 1980s, with extensive operations including production, merchandising, quality control, and shipping. With slow growth in our domestic markets, Vietnam presents significant opportunities for European exports and for investments in the developing retail sector. EBCA would like the Agreement to address the removal of significant non-tariff barriers such as cumbersome economic assessment tests when setting up retail operations and quality testing on apparel consignments.

Vietnam is also an important sourcing market for our industry. For this reason, we warmly welcome the intention to eliminate EU import tariffs as part of this deal. At the same time, to be able to benefit from new preferential tariffs, our companies require a more flexible approach from the EU on Rules of Origin, in order to recognize the global value chains we operate.

Vietnam has limited fabric production available to international brands and this could severely restrict our ability to benefit from reduced tariffs, if the current model for Rules of Origin is maintained. We therefore call for adopting a single transformation model in the agreement, taking into account the realities of the Vietnamese industry.

EBCA strongly endorses the Commission’s ambition to conclude the negotiations before the end of its tenure in October 2014 as Vietnam is such an important market for our companies.

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