The free trade agreement signed between Southeast Asia`s emerging force package Vietnam and Belgium`s 27-member customs bloc, the European Union (EU), does not bode well for India, exporters and trade experts told CNBC-TV18. For fully multilateral agreements (not listed below), see the list of multilateral free trade agreements. As a member of ASEAN, Vietnam is a prisoner of the bloc`s regional free trade agreements with Korea, the EU, China, Japan and India. The Vietnamese government has also signed a series of bilateral agreements on intellectual property, science and technology with industrialized countries as well as more than 30 NTBs. The EU-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement is an ambitious pact that aims to eliminate almost 99% of tariffs between the EU and Vietnam. India`s exports of footwear, clothing, naval goods and furniture to the European Union will be hit the hardest as soon as the 27-member bloc begins to reduce tariffs on Vietnam under the soon-to-be-operational EU-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). “As soon as there is a free trade agreement between the EU and Vietnam, European producers will be able to invest in this country and continue to export to other markets in the Asia-Pacific region, including a market like China, since China and Vietnam will be part of a major free trade agreement thanks to the upcoming RCEP,” said Amitendu Palit, Senior Research Fellow at the Institute of South Asian Studies, National University of Singapore. The EVFTA will also make Vietnam a more advantageous site for investments withdrawn from China due to the trade war between China and the United States, Dhar added. Where does India leave India, where trade policymakers have discussed plans to woo companies that relocate from China? The People`s Republic of China has concluded bilateral trade agreements with blocs, countries and its two special administrative regions: List of negotiations. Agreements that, until now, are only discussed without the formal action of the parties concerned, are not mentioned.
Palit says India must start bilateral trade agreements as soon as possible. His recipe for safeguarding India`s interests in a post-COVID-19 world comes at a time when negotiations on the duty-free pact between the country and the EU, Australia and New Zealand are yet to find a driving force. List of agreements between two states, two blocs or one bloc and one state. New Delhi is working to speed up its own bilateral free trade negotiations with the Bloc, which could align the competitive conditions of its exporters but will not be plunged into a deal, experts and officials say. There are still big gaps between the two in areas such as intellectual property, public procurement, investment protection, labour, environment and market access for sensitive products that need to be filled, he said. “Indian exporters are worried about losing their markets in the EU to Vietnam for key products, where its competitor will soon have the advantage of duty-free access due to its free trade agreement with the Bloc. . . .