Source: Socialist Republic of Vietnam
The two countries’ ambassadors were authorised to sign the deal as leading officials of the Vietnamese Government and Minister of Industry and Trade Tran Tuan Anh were unable to travel to the UK to sign directly amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
Earlier on December 11, Minister Anh and UK Secretary of State for International Trade Elizabeth Truss signed the minutes on the conclusion of negotiations over the UKVFTA to create a foundation for the two nations to conduct necessary legal documents for the official signing.
The UKVFTA was negotiated based on principles of commitments of the EU-Vietnam FTA with necessary adjustments to ensure the deal conforms with the Vietnam-UK bilateral trade framework.
Accordingly, the deal includes nine articles, one Appendix revising some articles of the EVFTA, one Protocol and one bilateral exchange letter between Vietnam and the UK.
Currently, the two sides are rushing to complete domestic procedures in accordance with the laws of each party so as to ensure the agreement can be implemented from 23:00 on December 31.
In the context that the UK official left the EU and the Brexit transition period is about to end on December 31, the signing of the free trade agreement will ensure the bilateral trade cannot be disrupted.
As it inherits the EVFTA, the UK-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement will create a comprehensive, long-term and stable economic-trade cooperation framework between the two countries, thus contributing to deepening their multifaceted cooperation, especially when the two sides just extended the maintenance of bilateral relations at the strategic partnership level.