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NEWS UPDATES Asean Affairs   29 January 2013  

Vietnam, EU trade talks begin


Vietnam and the European Union started the second round of negotiations on the Vietnam- EU Free Trade Agreement (Vefta) in Brussels on Tuesday.

The Vietnamese delegation was led by Deputy Minister of Industry and Trade Tran Quoc Khanh and the EU delegation, headed by Mauro Petriccone, Director for Asia and Latin America of the European Commission's Directorate General for Trade.

The four-day talks will focus on the exchange of goods and services, investment, intellectual property, labour and environmental issues.

Following the success of the first round which took place in Hanoi in October last, the second round is expected to speed up Vefta negotiation process as agreed by both sides' leaders.

The two sides plan to hold four rounds of talks this year.

The EU is Vietnam's largest export market with a turnover of US$20.3 billion last year, up 22.71 per cent over the previous year. Vietnam's main export staples to the EU include footwear, textiles and garments, coffee, seafood, computers and components, and wood products.

Once the FTA is signed, it will help promote trade and investment co-operation between Vietnamand the EU, bringing practical benefits to the business communities and people of both sides.  

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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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