EU-Vietnam trade deal to ‘create opportunities for Irish agri-food’

A new trade deal between the EU and Vietnam is set to create opportunities for the Irish agri-food sector, according to the Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation.

Minister Heather Humphreys welcomed the approval by EU member states for the deal, which will see 99% of tariffs eliminated.

A statement from Minister Humphreys’ department said that Ireland’s food exports to the south-east Asian country have grown considerably in recent years, and that this agreement would “support further growth”.

There will be opportunities for Ireland to grow exports in dairy products, pork, seafood, and alcoholic beverages by taking advantage of reduced tariffs under the FTA, according to the department.

The department added that the elimination of tariffs of 15% on frozen pork products would be “significant for Irish producers”.

“I am pleased to welcome the signature of the third Free Trade Agreement [FTA] with an Asian country within the space of 12 months, following agreements with Singapore and with Japan,” said Minister Humphreys.

“The EU-Vietnam FTA, like the EU’s other trade agreements, will help Ireland’s exporters to expand into a new market which is of critical importance for our continued economic prosperity and in support of our global export market diversification strategy,” she added.

Meanwhile, Pat Breen TD, Minister of State for Trade, Employment and Business, argued that “this agreement will boost goods and services trade and investment flows between the EU and Vietnam, as it removes almost all tariffs on trade between the two parties”.

As well as removing barriers, the trade deal will include provisions on trade and sustainable development, and will also see Vietnam committing to ratifying the conventions of the International Labour Organisation.