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Vietnam signed a fairly comprehensive bilateral trade agreement (BTA) with the United States in 2000. It came into force in 2001. The BTA was part of the post-war "trade normalisation" process between the two countries and should be seen as strong precursor to a watertight US FTA. In June 2007, Hanoi and Washington signed a Trade and Investment Framework Agreement, yet another step towards a possible FTA. And in December 2008, the two governments began negotiating a hardcore bilateral investment treaty (BIT), yet another.

In January 2007, Hanoi and Tokyo began talks towards a Japan-Vietnam deal, which was finally signed in December 2008. Shortly after, Vietnam began talks with Chile, with the FTA signed in 2011. Hanoi already signed an FTA with Israel back in 2004 and may join the TPP. It is also intending to negotiate FTAs with EFTA, Russia and Mexico

As a member of ASEAN, Vietnam is caught up in the bloc’s regional FTA dealings with Korea, the EU, China, Japan and India. The Vietnamese government has also signed a number of bilateral intellectual property and science & technology agreements with industrialised countries, as well as more than 30 BITs.

last update: May 2012

Vietnam, Russia to kick-start FTA negotiations
Top Vietnamese and Russian leaders have agreed to accelerate negotiations and the signing of a free trade agreement (FTA) between Vietnam and the customs alliance of Russia, Belarus, and Kazakhstan.
Mexico, Viet Nam examine free-trade agreement
During a visit to Mexico last week, Nguyen Thi Kim Ngan, Vietnamese National Assembly Vice Chairwoman, met with Senator Alberto Anaya Gutierrez, General Secretary of the Mexican Labour Party, to review the friendship between the two countries.
US presses Vietnam ahead of ASEAN meeting
A top US trade official on Tuesday said he urged Vietnam to undo a number of trade-restrictive policies aimed at curbing inflation and reducing the country’s current account deficit.
Vietnam plans to raise labor standards before FTA negotiations
Until now, Vietnam has not signed any bilateral or multilateral trade agreements with provisions on labor standards. The TPP may change this.
Nation readies for EU trade pact
Vietnamese trade associations need to begin considering what concessions key sectors are willing to make in exchange for tariff reductions from the European Union, as the Free Trade Agreement with the EU comes up for negotiations.
Vietnam wants to speed up co-operation with EFTA
Vietnam National Assembly will accelerate the negotiation process to facilitate the signature of a free trade agreement with the European Free Trade Association ahead of schedule.
Vietnam mulls free trade zone with post-Soviet customs union
Vietnam is considering creating a free trade zone with the post-Soviet customs union of Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan, Vietnam’s President Nguyen Minh Triet said on Sunday.
Negotiations on Vietnam-Russia FTA begin
One of reasons that Russia is interested in FTA with Vietnam is that the country can be a strategic partner in helping Russia restore its Asian influence.
Vietnam, Chile explore potential for bilateral ties
Chile and Vietnam envisage enormous potential to strengthen their bilateral ties, especially in economics and trade, affirmed the newly-appointed Chilean Ambassador to Vietnam.
Carpe diem: businesses to take initiative in FTA
Trade experts say that Vietnamese enterprises cannot take full advantage of multilateral and bilateral free trade agreements (FTA) to boost export because they lack initiative.