European Union, Vietnam agree deal for free trade pact lifting most tariffs on goods

MarketsAssociated Press

The European Union and Vietnam have reached an agreement in principle on a new free trade deal that would see the lifting of most tariffs on goods.

The EU's top trade official, Cecilia Malmstroem, said Tuesday that the pact would "provide significant new opportunities for companies on both sides, by increasing market access for goods and services."

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Vietnam has a growing and dynamic market of some 90 million consumers and officials expect the pact to spur European investment in the South East Asian nation.

The agreement comes after two and a half years of talks. Experts must now iron out remaining technical issues before the deal can be officially approved by EU member states and the European Parliament.