Such agreements illustrate the strength of EU-Vietnam relations and the opportunities Europe sees in the Southeast Asian country. The EU is achieving the long-term goal of increasing its influence and expansion in ASEAN markets based on Vietnam, and European entrepreneurs will have better access to one of the fastest growing southeast Asian economies after the agreements enter into force. Despite the coronavirus pandemic, which is disrupting and causing a global economic slowdown, Vietnam is still expected to record economic growth of 4.8% this year and recover to 6.8% by 2021. In the area of investment protection, the two sides have already achieved much, including an agreement on important safeguards such as national treatment and agreements on the main rules for the substantive protection of investments. It would appear that the Vietnamese government is completing its internal procedures and the necessary documents for accession to both treaties. The IASIA also includes strict provisions on trademark, patent, design, plant variety and data protection (five years) for pharmaceutical, biological and agrochemical products. On 8 June 2020, the Vietnamese National Assembly unanimously ratified the new Vietnam-European Union Free Trade Agreement (EUVNA) and the EU-Vietnam Parallel Investment Protection Agreement (EUVIPA). It was preceded by the approval of both agreements by the European Parliament on 12 February 2020. The ALER came into force on 1 August 2020.
EUVIPA, which falls under the shared competence1 of the EU and its Member States, is currently ratified at national level by the regional and national parliaments of the EU Member States. The AIEUE is set out below.