A woman rides a motorcycle as she passes containers at Hai Phong port, Vietnam September 25, 2018. REUTERS/Kham
HANOI (Reuters) – The European Union signed a landmark free trade deal with Vietnam on Sunday, the first of its kind with a developing country in Asia, paving the way for tariff reductions on 99% of goods between the bloc and the Southeast Asian country.
The two sides announced the deal in a statement.
It still needs the approval of the European Parliament, which is not a given as some lawmakers are concerned about Vietnam’s human rights record.
The European Union has described the EU-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA) as “the most ambitious free trade deal ever concluded with a developing country”.
Reporting by Khanh Vu; Editing by James Pearson, Robert Birsel