Further European trade ties with Vietnam are likely to come into force soon, after the Asian country signed a free trade agreement with the EU last year.
Described as "the most ambitious free trade deal ever concluded with a developing country" by the EU, the EU-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA) was agreed upon in June 2019.
It introduces a raft of new measures, including simplification of Vietnamese customs procedures, no need for compliance testing on EU goods once they reach Vietnam, and the removal of almost all tariffs within ten years.
Nearly three-quarters of Vietnamese exports to the EU will be duty-free as soon as the agreement comes into force.
This is, of course, excellent news for the entire European bloc, but one nation in particular has lauded the potential benefits after the European Parliament's Committee on International Trade backed the free trade and investment protection agreements within the legislation.
According to greekcitytimes.com, Greece is eagerly anticipating the new arrangement and hoping to capitalise on the advantages on the majority of its exported products.
Greece already has a good trading relationship with Vietnam, with 124 companies currently exporting a wide range of goods and services there. Vietnam is Greece's 25th biggest trade partner outside the EU and €40 million worth of Greek exports go to the Asian country each year, with around €194 million heading the opposite way.
However, the EU-Vietnam trade agreement is sure to make it easier and cheaper for trade to occur. In addition, it will protect Greek Feta cheese from imitations there, among other protective measures.
Greece and Vietnam established diplomatic relations back in 1975, but bilateral relations have developed significantly over the past decade or so. In June 2013, a Joint Inter-parliamentary Friendship Group was established, while the Vietnam-Greece Business Forum held a high-profile meeting in 2018.
At this event, businesses from both nations were encouraged to promote cooperation and trade, particularly in the areas of maritime transport, logistics, shipbuilding, sea port development, tourism and agricultural product processing.
A host of Greek firms were represented, including those in the food industry, olive oil production, textiles and the energy sector.
Building on the framework agreements they already have in place on the economy and tourism, Vietnam and Greece now hope to use the EU-Vietnam FTA as a stepping stone towards better two-way trade turnover.
This is something likely to be further assisted by the negotiation of the Agreement on Maritime and Double Taxation.
Greek deputy foreign minister Terens-Nikolaos Quick said the two counties have long supported each other at multinational forums like the United Nations, with Greece among the first to ratify an FTA between Vietnam and the EU.
He added that he hopes the deal will see Greece becoming a gateway for Vietnamese goods to enter the bloc.
Commodity Channel Index deputy chairman Doan Duy Khuong commented: "It's a golden time for Vietnam and Greece to tighten cooperation to bring their traditional relationship to a new height, especially in economy, trade and investment."