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June 19, 2008

Vietnam, European Commission sign multilateral trade agreement
A Financing Agreement of the Multilateral Trade Assistance Project III (MUTRAP III) was signed between the Vietnamese Government and the European Commission (EC) in Hanoi Wednesday.

At the signing ceremony, Minister of Industry and Trade Vu Huy Hoang represented Vietnam, while Ambassador Sean Doyle, head of the European Commission Delegation to Vietnam, represented the EC.

The 10.67 million euro MUTRAP III, with a 10 million euros ($15.5 million) contribution from the EC, will be the largest four-year trade policy support, operating from July 1 till June 30, 2012, said Ambassador Doyle.

During its four years of operation, it will focus on capacity building for the ministry, so it can implement its WTO commitments, as well as support the development of a coherent and sustainable trade integration strategy through closer co-ordination with the private sector, training and research institutions.

It will also assist the ministry in effectively negotiating and coordinating regional trade related arrangements such as Afta (Asean free trade agreement), Asean plus other dialogue partners.

It will contribute to strengthening the capacity of competition policy stakeholders to ensure consumer protection and a level playing field for all businesses through the implementation of the Competition Law.

During the event, Minister of Industry and Trade Vu Huy Hoang said he strongly believed that the project would further enhance the effective co-operation between the EC and the Vietnamese Government in the field of trade related technical assistance.

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