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Vietnam, US forge precursor to free trade deal

Thanh Nien News, Viet Nam

Vietnam, US forge precursor to free trade deal

6 June 2007

Vietnam and the US have concluded negotiations for a pact that could set the stage for a free trade agreement, a source told Thanh Nien Wednesday.

The two countries were expected to sign the Trade and Investment Agreement (TIFA) during the upcoming visit to the US by Vietnamese President Nguyen Minh Triet, the source said.

A statement from the US Trade Representative (USTR)’s office said recently that TIFA would serve as a platform for the two countries to strengthen their trade and investment ties.

It would establish a formal dialogue under which the two countries intended to discuss new initiatives to deepen their trade and investment ties.

It also would provide a forum for monitoring Vietnam’s implementation of its WTO and bilateral trade agreement commitments.

Nguyen Hong Duong, vice director of the Vietnamese Trade Ministry’s America Department, said TIFA was the prelude to a bilateral free trade agreement.

The US is negotiating free trade agreements with two other Southeast Asian countries, Thailand and Malaysia.

Reported by Xuan Danh - Translated by The Vinh