Vietnam: On 30 June 2019, the EU and Vietnam signed a free trade agreement and an investment protection agreement in Hanoi. Germany is Vietnam`s largest trading partner in the EU and welcomes the signing of the agreement. The free trade agreement will facilitate access for German products to the growing Vietnamese market. Like the agreement with Singapore, the Investment Protection Agreement with Vietnam sets high and precise standards for investment protection and establishes a reformed dispute settlement procedure. The European Parliament approved both agreements on 12 February 2020. The free trade agreement came into force on August 1, 2020. The investment protection agreement must be ratified by all EU member states before it enters into force. In addition, increased trade makes production more economical through specialization and economies of scale: the production not only of certain products of a given type, but also of larger quantities for a global clientele reduces the share of fixed costs in the total cost. Because the manufacturer can standardize and prefabricate parts and automate work processes, costs decrease, while quality remains high. In addition, EU Member States have signed a large number of investment contracts. They protect foreign investors from political risks such as discrimination and expropriation.
In the past, these agreements have generally been signed by two states (some of which are multilateral) and negotiated separately from trade agreements. The 2009 Lisbon Treaty gave the EU responsibility for negotiating such treaties for the EU as a whole and was an integral part of free trade agreements (for example). B with Canada). Subsequently, the European Court of Justice clarified that investor-state arbitration procedures were not within the exclusive jurisdiction of the EU and that, therefore, these agreements must be ratified by all Member States before coming into force. In order not to overload free trade agreements with lengthy procedures for ratifying investment protection chapters, the EU has begun to separate investment protection from free trade agreements whenever possible. Altmaier said: “The EU-Japan Economic Partnership Agreement is an important signal for free and fair trade.” The content of trade agreements has changed over time: the European Union (EU) free trade agreements negotiated in the late 1990s with Mexico and Chile have mainly focused on reducing tariffs. Recent trade agreements, such as those between the EU and South Korea, Vietnam, Singapore, Canada and Japan, also cover the so-called WTO areas. These are issues that have not yet been discussed or have been the subject of limited debate, including competition rules, intellectual property protection, public procurement and investment. Examines key economic indicators and trade statistics on countries that dominate the market, as well as other trade issues.
Demographic changes and the resulting labour constraints, labour market regulation and rising energy prices due to the shift from coal and nuclear power to renewable energy sources (“energy transition”) are likely to hinder competitiveness. Experts also fear that international trade tensions and the global economic impact of the COVID pandemic could seriously damage Germany`s export-oriented economy.