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EU-Vietnam FTA: Improving wine exports for EU growth

CEEV welcomes the announcement of an agreement between EU and Vietnam on an ambitious Free Trade Agreement.

Brussels, 4 August 2015 – After 2 and a half years of negotiations, EU Trade Commissioner, Cecilia Malmström, and Vietnamese Minister of Industry and Trade, Vu Huy Hoang, announced the agreement in principle for free trade agreement between EU and Vietnam.

Vietnam, and its growing economy, is an interesting developing market in the South-East Asia for EU wines (€ 16,3 million in 2014). However EU wines have not enjoyed the full potential of the market yet because of some existing barriers applying to them (and not always to non EU-wines).

The agreement will significantly improve the access to the Vietnamese market for EU wines.

Wine is included in the global package of elimination of tariffs and the cancellation of the 50% tariff applicable to still and sparkling wines will be effective after a 7-year transitional period.

Another major issue for EU wines that will be solved by the FTA is the implementation of an efficient protection of EU geographical indications (Champagne was the most emblematic case). This is a positive sign for the other regional discussions and contributes to isolate more the last remaining countries not protecting GIs.

The elimination of tariffs on a relatively short period of time (7 years) will give opportunities for EU wines and limit the competitive disadvantage with our competitors (Australia, Chile…) in the Asia-Pacific region.” declared Jean-Marie Barillère, President of CEEV. “We are also very satisfied to obtain a strong protection of our emblematic EU geographical indications in Vietnam. The strategy of the EU allows to continue our progress worldwide on that issue, crucial for a fair trade of EU wines.”

CEEV now urges both parties to finalise the legal work which will pave  the way to the official signing of the agreement. CEEV expects the European Parliament and Member States to ratify this agreement as to ensure a quick entry into force of the FTA so that EU wines could benefit from the agreement to gain competitiveness as soon as possible.

The European Commission has done a very good job, and now the ball is in the court of the European Parliament. Exports to Asia are crucial for the sustainability of EU wines and we urge the European Parliament to give its approval to this FTA without delay” added Ignacio Sánchez Recarte, Secretary General of CEEV. “In a second period of time, we will work closely with the Commission for an effective implementation and the respect of the provisions of the agreement.”

 

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Notes to Editors :

  • Comité Européen des Entreprises Vins (CEEV – www.ceev.eu) represents the wine companies in the industry and trade in the European Union: still wines, aromatised wines, sparkling wines, liqueur wines and other vine products. It brings together 24 national organisations. With more than 7.000 companies, mainly SMEs, and more than 200.000 direct jobs in the EU, its members produce and market the vast majority of quality European wines, with and without a geographical indication, and account for over 90% of European wine exports.
  • With around €8,9 billion € worth of exports every year, the EU wine sector makes a contribution of over €6,4 billion to the EU trade balance.