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Vietnam Today

Seminar on labor issues in EVFTA held

Released at: 14:11, 14/05/2019

Seminar on labor issues in EVFTA held

Photo: Thuy Nguyen

Detailed information shared at seminar on matters in agreement pertaining to labor.

by Jessica Nguyen

A seminar on labor issues in the EU-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA) was held in Hanoi on May 13, involving Deputy Minister of Labor, Invalids and Social Affairs Doan Mau Diep, Country Director for Vietnam from the International Labor Organization (ILO) Mr. Chang-Hee Lee, and Head of Unit, Trade and Sustainable Development, Generalized System of Preferences, Directorate-General for Trade, Ms. Madeline Tuininga.

Negotiations over the EVFTA concluded on December 2, 2015, but due to changes in the process of ratifying free trade agreements by the EU, only on June 26, 2018 did the two parties officially end the process of legal review and prepare for signing and ratification. As other matters arose, however, signing and ratification did not proceed, and one of the aims of the seminar is to push the finalization of the agreement forward.

The Ministry of Labor, Invalids and Social Affairs (MoLISA) has made many efforts in preparation, such as establishing a working group specializing in free trade agreements, organizing a series of consultations for relevant Vietnamese agencies aimed at sharing information and improving understanding of Vietnam’s labor commitments in free trade agreements, welcoming high-level delegations from EU parliaments to Vietnam, strengthening cooperation with EU partners in exchanging and updating information related to promoting efforts to sign the EVFTA, and preparing a submission for ratifying ILO Convention No. 98 and amending the Labor Code, among others.

According to Minister Diep, MoLISA has promoted the ratification of Convention No. 98 from the ILO and amending Vietnam’s 2012 Labor Code. Convention No. 98 has now undergone regulatory approval, while the draft Labor Code (revised) was officially released for public comment on April 28. The ratification of Convention No. 98 and the amendment of the Labor Code will be included on the agenda at the upcoming National Assembly session.

He also asked that the two sides continue to cooperate closely to promote the signing and approval of the EVFTA this year.

Ms. Tuininga said the issue of labor is a very important chapter in the EVFTA on one of interest in the EU. It will try to make progress by meeting other Vietnamese ministries relating to labor and the Labor Code, to consider its content and ensure compliance with ILO guidelines and requirements on labor, employment, child labor, and collective labor agreements, and to guide EU businesses in implementing their commitments regarding labor.

Mr. Chang-Hee Lee affirmed that the EVFTA aims to ensure that labor can develop freely and sustainably. Vietnam has also made political moves and commitments at the highest level to implement trade conventions and EVFTA, and the ILO will help Vietnam and the EU implement labor standards in the future.

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