EU-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement (FTA) negotiations following meeting with UK Government:
The first round was extremely positive. As negotiations are very much in the early stages, the first round covered a lot of information exchange and context in order for both sides to understand the starting points and ambitions of the other side, and start to swap information on for example the different regulatory frameworks.
Negotiating groups on several areas (including customs, rules of origin, intellectual property) met to begin text-based discussions.
There was ambition on both sides for negotiations to be concluded as swiftly as possible, and for the regular negotiating rounds to be supported by technical level working groups.
The Commission is positive about the progress made and prospects for future negotiating rounds.
The next round is likely to be in January 2013, with further-developed texts to be discussed at that point.
The UK is supportive of making progress as quickly as possible, whilst sticking to a high level of ambition. However, as with any negotiation, the trickier issues emerge over time so we can expect the areas of more substantive differences to emerge next year.