The Free Trade Agreement establishes a framework to settle future disputes between the EU and Vietnam over the interpretation and implementation of the agreement. It applies to most areas of the agreement and, in many ways, it is faster and more efficient than the dispute settlement mechanism in the WTO. The ALER is the second comprehensive trade agreement between an ASEAN member country and the EU and can be used as a model if the EU decides to pursue free trade agreements (“FTAs”) with other ASEAN countries or with ASEAN as a regional bloc in the future. With the AECE, Vietnam is expanding its IPR network to another strategic economic and trading partner. Vietnam currently has bilateral free trade agreements with Japan, South Korea, Chile and the Eurasian Economic Union (of which Russia is a member). It is also a party to six regional free trade agreements concluded by ASEAN member states with China, Hong Kong, India and other parties to the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP), which includes Australia, Canada, Mexico and New Zealand. Under CEFTA, the EU provides for the same thresholds that it applies under the WTO Agreement on Government Procurement (`GPA`) and other free trade agreements, while Vietnam enjoys a transitional period of 15 years during which it provides for higher thresholds. Both the EU and Vietnam commit to opening up public procurement, both sub-central and otherwise, as set out in the annexes to the agreement. In particular, with certain exceptions, the EU undertakes to open the same central government bodies as under the WTO GPA. Vietnam is committed to opening procurement processes for 20 central government agencies, including several ministries, departments and sub-authorities, 2 sub-central government agencies (Hanoi City and Ho Chi Minh City) and 42 “other covered entities”, including Vietnam Railways and Vietnam Electricity.2 Singapore has experienced economic growth since the signing of its free trade agreements. These agreements have helped local businesses and investors access overseas markets, raise their products faster and easier, and benefit from tariff concessions, preferential access to certain sectors and IP protection.

According to a study by Singapore`s Ministry of Trade and Industry, businesses saved about $730 million in tariffs and bilateral trade increased by $9.7 million and two-way investment increased 26-fold. . . .

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