EU opens trade door to Vietnam, closes it to Cambodia

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EU opens trade door to Vietnam, closes it to Cambodia

On Wednesday, the 12th of February 2020, the EU had agreed to open up its market to Vietnam as a part of an EU-Vietnam free trade treaty, a first of its kind approach for the European Union to seal a free trade pact with a developing Asian nation, while the bloc, a 28-member organization of European countries, had shut down its trade doors to Cambodia given the Asian nation’s years of malpractice on labour issue and human rights abuse.

Nonetheless, despite a number of human rights’ organization’s calls to prevent the deal considering a much-bleaker labour abuse scenario in Vietnam, the EU lawmakers had voted 401-192 to approve its free trade accord with Vietnam, remarking the bloc’s second comprehensive pact with a developing country in Asia after Singapore.

However, human right activist groups had urged the EU lawmakers to cancel the approval momentarily until Vietnam could adopt further reforms on labour abuse issue alongside a penal code that allowed the government to jail its critics.

Nevertheless, adding that the newly industrialized Southeast Asian nation with one of the fastest growth rates across the globe, had already exercised greater efforts to step up its labour rights records, EU trade commissioner, Phil Hogan was quoted saying following the EU Parliamentary session that the new EU-Vietnam partnership would enhance EU’s potential further inside Asia.