The European Union has given its final go-ahead for the conclusion of a free trade agreement (FTA) between the bloc and Vietnam.
All that remains now is for the Vietnamese National Assembly to also ratify the deal before it can enter into force as soon as summer 2020.
The FTA was officially signed back in June 2019, paving the way for the removal of almost all tariffs on goods traded between Europe and the Asian nation.
Known as the EVFTA and described as "the most ambitious free trade deal ever concluded with a developing country" by the EU, it will eliminate 99 per cent of customs duties on exports in both directions.
Furthermore, 65 per cent of duties on EU exports to Vietnam will cease immediately and the remainder will be phased out gradually.
EU products will also no longer require testing for compliance on Vietnamese shores after Vietnam agreed to simplify its customs procedures as a condition.
Spokesperson for the European Council Gordan Grlic Radman said: "This agreement is the second one we are concluding with a south-east Asian country, after Singapore. It is also the most ambitious."