FTA negotiations include changes that strengthen Vietnam's case for recognition.
The completion of negotiations over the Vietnam-EU FTA will help Vietnam to prove it is a market economy, according to Mr. Franz Jessen, Head of the European Union delegation.
Vietnam will have restructured positively from the negotiations, he believes. “I hope that after the negotiations Vietnam will have the results to prove it is a market economy,” he added.
Vietnam has for many years requested that the EU recognize it as a market economy but such recognition has not been forthcoming. There are only a few countries around the world that recognize Vietnam as a market economy.
“When Vietnam adapts five technical criteria from the EU regarding a market economy it will gain recognition,” he told a press conference for the 25th anniversary of diplomatic relations between the two.
Vietnam has made a lot of progress over recent years, he went on, and its government has done its best to adopt changes.
“Meeting the criteria to be recognized as a market economy can't be done immediately,” he said, and will take time.
The latest round of negotiations over the FTA took place in Belgium a week ago. Another negotiation round is expected before the agreement will be signed.
“The results have been very positive and I expect that the two parties will conclude the FTA shortly,” he predicted.
The FTA will enhance bilateral relations and Vietnam’s internal reforms, such as strengthening State budget use to make it effective and transparent.
“The issues to be addressed are for the benefit of the Vietnamese people,” Mr. Jessen said. “Using State budget funds in transparent and smart ways will see the economy become more effective.”
The EU will significantly increase its aid to Vietnam, rising from $338.55 million to $451.4 million in the 2014-2020 period, despite the EU's own fiscal problems. The bloc is already the largest provider of aid to Vietnam.