The meeting was co-chaired by Helene Budliger Artieda, Swiss State Secretary at the State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO), on the EFTA side, and Tran Quoc Khanh, Deputy Minister of Industry and Trade on the Vietnamese side.
During the meeting, discussions focused on a few negotiation topics, namely trade in goods, services and investment, government procurement, intellectual property rights, and trade and sustainable development, with the ambition of finding common ground towards finalisation of the negotiations.
The EFTA-Vietnam negotiation process began in 2012, and since then, 16 rounds of negotiations have taken place. Although progress has slowed down in recent years, both delegations reaffirmed their commitment to a broad-based free trade agreement. Clarifications around domestic developments were provided, and both sides agreed to continue their constructive discussions soon.
In 2022, bilateral trade between EFTA and Vietnam exceeded USD 4 billion. Fish and crustaceans, electrical machinery and pharmaceutical products were the main exports from EFTA to Vietnam, while electrical machinery, footwear and woven apparel or clothing accessories were the primary imports from Vietnam.
Read more about merchandise trade between EFTA and Vietnam here.
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