The 47th session of Vietnam’s National Assembly Standing Committee (NASC) will today draw to a close.
The meeting—which included the discussion of controversial draft legislation on issues such as residency, administrative violations and environmental protection—transpired as the country’s leadership struggles to contend with the economic complexities of COVID-19.
The National Assembly ratified the EU-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA) in June, eliminating over 99% of customs duties in an effort to attract dwindling foreign investment in the wake of COVID-19. While the EVFTA, which went into effect on August 1, could allow Hanoi to partially fill the supply vacuum left by Chinese manufacturers, it also includes legally binding provisions on the topics of labour, climate and sustainable development.
Expect the agreement to boost Vietnam’s long-term environmental outlook, as Hanoi and Brussels are now bound to the Paris Agreement by new legislation and have pledged to promote additional international agreements as well. The associated investment in Vietnam’s domestic renewables infrastructure could provide a critical impetus to a developing economy that has been stunted by recent stagnation, as the EVFTA—which is projected to increase EU-Vietnam turnover by approximately 44% over the next decade—will likely constitute the foundation upon which Hanoi will build its long-term development and integration strategy.
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Daniel is an analyst and editor on the Current Developments team. He contributes regularly to the Daily Brief, focusing primarily on European, Middle Eastern and sub-Saharan politics.