The jury is out on whether a new EU-Vietnam trade pact will do anything to improve people's livelihoods and arrest a deteriorating human rights record, writes Jude Kirton-Darling.
A wave of protectionism and obstacles to free trade hit the global economy in 2018, and threaten economic growth in 2019. Although more disputes are expected, there is some cause for hope too.
Some argue that we should tread carefully and refrain from asking too much in terms of human rights from the Vietnamese, because if we do so we could end up pushing Vietnam into China’s orbit. But this doesn’t hold, writes Jude Kirton-Darling.
The EU's Trade Commissioner Cecilia Malmström said on Wednesday (17 October) that the "ambitious" trade deal concluded with Vietnam could “pave the way” for an agreement with the Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN), despite scepticism on the other side.
The European Union and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) said today (10 March) the two blocs would try to revive plans for a trade deal, as European countries look to tap the region's strong growth.