The United Kingdom is a leading player in world trade. In 2019, the United Kingdom exported $469.7 billion in goods and imported $695.8 billion, while these figures were $411.8 billion and $279.2 billion for commercial services. Although international merchandise trade in the UK has declined in recent years, trade with ASEAN and Vietnam has grown strongly. Merchandise trade with Vietnam grew by 9% per year between 2014 and 2019. In the area of intellectual property rights, Vietnam is committed to achieving a high level of protection that goes beyond the standards of the WTO TRIPS Agreement. This agreement better protects EU innovations, works of art and trade marks against illicit copying, including through stricter enforcement rules. The AECE covers a wide range of service sectors, including financial services, professional business services, communication services, postal services, related construction and engineering services, health and social protection services, environmental services and transport services. Many of the concessions offered by each party go beyond the concessions granted under the WTO Agreement on Trade in Services, including packaging services, building cleaning services, interdisciplinary R&D services and care services. In some service sectors, such as telecommunications, foreign participation rates for EU investors in Vietnam are increased. The agreement also obliges Vietnam and the EU to include in future all new service commitments that a party concludes with third countries in the AICE. The agreement will allow new GIs to be added in the future.
On 30 June 2020, the European Union (EU) and Vietnam signed a Free Trade Agreement (FTA) 1 and an Investment Protection Agreement. The free trade agreement will enter into force on 1 August 2020 and will liberalise most of the import tariffs levied by the EU and Vietnam on products from the other country. The EU will liberalise 71% of its imports from Vietnam upon entry into force and 99% after seven years. Upon entry into force, Vietnam will liberalise 65% of its imports from the EU and the rest of the trade, with the exception of certain products, will be liberalised after 10 years. . . .