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HANOI, VIETNAM - Europe is urging Vietnam to open the country to flights from Europe, as the country is a strong investment destination for those seeking diverse supply chains.

Nicolas Audier, chairman of the European Chamber of Commerce in Vietnam, called on Hanoi to authorize and issue visas letting foreigners enter the country when he spoke with the reporter in Ho Chi Minh City, the southern commercial hub of the communist-led country, on June 19.

Hanoi currently permits foreigners to leave Vietnam and allows the entry of commercial planes to gather passengers for return to Europe. But standard Europe-to-Vietnam flights are not expected to regain authorization until 2021.

The National Assembly in Hanoi approved a free trade deal with the European Union on June 8, making Vietnam the second Southeast Asian nation to have such a treaty with the European bloc after Singapore. The EU-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement is set to take effect as early as August.

The agreement comes amid U.S.-China trade tensions. Once it takes effect, 71% of Vietnam’s exports to the EU will become duty-free, as will 65% of shipments going the other way. Hanoi will phase out up to 99% of the remaining tariffs over ten years; Brussels will do likewise but in seven years.

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