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NEWS UPDATES Asean Affairs   4 October 2013  

Hygiene key to European trade

Negotiations on the Sanitary and Phytosanitary Systems (SPS) play a pivotal role in promoting free trade between Viet Nam and the European Free Trade Association (EFTA), which is also estimated to boost Viet Nam's exports in the EU.

The message was delivered at a workshop held by the Ministry of Industry and Trade (MoIT) in Ha Noi to conceptualise the SPS for domestic enterprises.

Chief negotiator Tran Trung Thuc said that the SPS applied by the EFTA (including Sweden, Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein) nearly matches the SPS set by the EU.

This means exporters must meet the EU's requirements if they wish to export to the EFTA.

According to Thonmas Tison, an EFTA expert, the SPS contains the highest similarity between the EFTA and the EU. When the EU ratifies, no country in the EFTA would be allowed to reject SPS-certified products from Viet Nam.

The workshop introduced common regulations on the SPS that directed domestic firms to enhance the export of meat and seafood, cereals and vegetables, processed food and pharmaceutical products.

Since May of this year, Viet Nam and the EFTA have held five FTA negotiation sessions.

Together with FTA negotiations, the EFTA and Viet Nam signed a memorandum of understanding in July to recognise Viet Nam as a market economy.

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This year in Thailand-what next?

AseanAffairs   04 January 2011
By David Swartzentruber      

It is commonplace in journalism to write two types of articles at the transition point between the year that has passed and the New Year. As this writer qualifies as an “old hand” in observing Thailand with a track record dating back 14 years, it is time take a shot at what may unfold in Thailand in 2011.

The first issue that can’t be answered is the health of Thailand’s beloved King Bhumibol, who is now 83 years old. He is the world's longest reigning monarch, but elaborate birthday celebrations in December failed to mask concern over his health. More






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