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Vietnam, EU Reach Agreement in Principle on FTA

This week officials from the European Union and Vietnam announced that they had reached agreement in principle on a free trade agreement. Further details are available in this EU news release. At a press conference announcing the agreement, EU Trade Commissioner Cecilia Malmstrom acknowledged that finalizing the text would require some time, but she predicts the FTA will enter into force in late 2017 or early 2018.

EU pork exports to Vietnam expanded dramatically last year, increasing more than 400 percent in both volume (16,315 metric tons) and value ($21.7 million) compared to 2013. Through May of this year, exports had already reached 8,574 mt (up 80 percent from the same period last year) valued at $9.6 million (up 66 percent). Exports are mainly variety meat, accounting for 64 percent of the January-May volume. Vietnam is typically very close to self-sufficiency in pork production. The EU has been the dominant supplier of imported product for the past year and a half, but Canada’s exports reached 1,578 mt through May, up 187 percent.

EU beef exports to Vietnam also rose significantly last year, increasing 68 percent in volume to 5,240 mt and nearly doubling in value to $18.4 million. Variety meat accounted for about 67 percent of export volume. Exports in 2015 are about 11 percent ahead of last year’s pace.