amfori welcomes the initial passing of the EU-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA) by the European Parliament’s International Trade Committee (INTA) on 20 January 2020. Christian Ewert, amfori President was optimistic regarding the agreement’s progress to the next stage: “I am happy to see that the members overwhelmingly recognised the importance of this agreement – both for the EU and Vietnam – and the significant progress the country has made on human rights. I hope that the vote at the European Parliament’s Plenary in February follows suit”.
amfori represents importers, retailers and brand-names – predominantly of clothing and footwear – who will benefit from the reduced tariffs the FTA will bring. However, an important element of the EVFTA for amfori is the chapter on trade and sustainable development (TSD). Christian Ewert added “we believe that trade should be value based which is why we support the requirements within the TSD chapters.” It is also crucially important that the EU monitors Vietnam’s adherence to those commitments. amfori is a strong supporter of value-based trade, and has published a position paper on the importance of the EU’s policies towards Trade and Sustainable Development Chapters in Free Trade Agreements.
In recent weeks, amfori’s activities have been underlined through a successful programme of engagement. The programme culminated with the 2nd amfori Asia Sustainability Forum in Ho Chi Minh City in October 2019 and now comes accompanied with the publication of the Vietnam Focus, which provides an insight for the Vietnamese market from an economic, social and political perspective.