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Vietnam signed a fairly comprehensive bilateral trade agreement (BTA) with the United States in 2000. It came into force in 2001. The BTA was part of the post-war "trade normalisation" process between the two countries and should be seen as strong precursor to a watertight US FTA. In June 2007, Hanoi and Washington signed a Trade and Investment Framework Agreement, yet another step towards a possible FTA. And in December 2008, the two governments began negotiating a hardcore bilateral investment treaty (BIT), yet another.

In January 2007, Hanoi and Tokyo began talks towards a Japan-Vietnam deal, which was finally signed in December 2008. Shortly after, Vietnam began talks with Chile, with the FTA signed in 2011. Hanoi already signed an FTA with Israel back in 2004 and may join the TPP. It is also intending to negotiate FTAs with EFTA, Russia and Mexico

As a member of ASEAN, Vietnam is caught up in the bloc’s regional FTA dealings with Korea, the EU, China, Japan and India. The Vietnamese government has also signed a number of bilateral intellectual property and science & technology agreements with industrialised countries, as well as more than 30 BITs.

last update: May 2012
Photo: Phó Nháy/Wikimedia

White House upbeat on Vietnam trade pact
The Bush administration expressed optimism Monday that a recently completed trade agreement with Vietnam can be signed by early June and supporting legislation can win congressional approval this summer.
Trade deal to bring harsh competition to Vietnam
Vietnam’s trade deal with the United States — meant to facilitate Vietnam’s accession to the WTO — lowers Hanoi’s tariffs on US industrial and farm products and removes other barriers that block US companies in the telecommunications, retailing, banking, insurance and energy sectors.
Vietnam: FTA or not?
As Vietnam’s bid to join the WTO comes to its conclusion, economic experts are drawing the public’s attention to another topic: What should Vietnam do about free trade agreements (FTA) within ASEAN?
Nation up against last WTO barrier
Viet Nam was awaiting the removal of the last major barrier to its entry to the World Trade Organisation - the successful conclusion of bilateral negotiations with the United States - Deputy Trade Minister Luong Van Tu has told a Vietnam News Agency correspondent.
Vietnam and RoK sign bilateral co-operation agreement
Investment promotion agencies of Vietnam and the Republic of Korea (RoK) reached an agreement on bilateral co-operation in Hanoi on December 13.
US supports Vietnam’s WTO bid, works toward FTA
The United States fully supports Vietnam’s efforts to join the World Trade Organization (WTO), said US Ambassador to Vietnam Michael Marine at a press conference in Washington on May 25.
Vietnam-US: Former enemies to become WTO buddies
With the painful chapter of war between them closed, both Vietnam and the United States seem to be moving to new horizons in the realm of business relations.
North Korea and Vietnam sign banking pact to boost trade
North Korea has signed a banking pact with Vietnam as it moves to boost bilateral trade with a fellow communist country, an official from North Korea’s embassy in Hanoi said today.