European Council on 30th March ratified a free trade agreement with Vietnam that promises to reduce tariffs on Vietnamese shrimp from the current 12% -20% rates to zero after seven years.
Once ratified by the Vietnamese National Assembly in May, the EU Vietnam Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA) is expected to take effect at the beginning of the summer. As part of the deal, Vietnam will cut off 65% import taxes on EU commodities right away and the rest over a 10-year period. Also, the EU will cut more than 70% off Vietnam’s commodities right after the deal take effect with the rest removed over the next seven years.
The trade deal along with the EU-Vietnam Investment Protection Agreement was reportedly signed in Hanoi, Vietnam, in June 2019.
The trade deal is expected to bring welcome relief to the Vietnamese sector, which saw the value of its shrimp exports fall 5.4 percent to USD3.36 billion in 2019 before the devastating damage done by Covid-19 owing to factors such as the global downturn in shrimp prices and the US-China trade war.