On 9th November took place the 1st meeting of the EU and the Vietnam Domestic Advisory Groups (DAGs), established under the Trade and Sustainable Development (TSD) chapter of the EU-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement – only a few days ahead of the First EU-Vietnam Joint Forum with Civil Society.
After the introduction of the different members from both DAGs, the EU DAG members raised a number of topics for discussion, including the implementation of the TSD-chapter and the role of civil society, the reform of labour law and the implementation of the roadmap on ILO ratification, the implementation of sustainable food systems and the issue of wildlife trade, and the relationship between the EU and Vietnamese businesses in global supply chains
Their counterparts from the Vietnamese side highlighted the fact that working with the EU DAG was a learning process for them. They responded positively to the discussion topics of the EU DAG, and the priorities of the two DAGs seemed to concur fairly well. In addition to that, there seemed to be a great interest from both sides in the topic of Due Diligence.
Antoine Oger, from the Institute for European Environmental Policy (IEEP), presented the main topic in the workshop to follow on the Greening of the economy and its impact on trade relations. Mr. Oger elaborated on climate change in relation to trade agreements, the EU approach to "green trade", EU and Vietnam trade relations and the COP26.
Pham Hoang Hai, from the Vietnamese Business Council for Sustainable Development, mentioned that the restructuring of the economy in association with growth model innovation together with the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions were of great importance. He also added that efforts in Vietnam were focused on the development of green and sustainable infrastructure, towards the building of a green lifestyle which would ensure a principled, equitable, inclusive and resilient green transition across the entire economy.
The exchanges during the meeting were fruitful and constituted a good start on the relations. Both sides decided to continue their dialogue as representatives of the organised civil society in order to monitor the implementation of the Trade and Sustainable Development chapter of the agreement.