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Trade

Vietnam's EU trade deal fails to inspire COVID-hit neighbors

Indonesia, Malaysia and Philippines hesitate despite need to revive economies

Vietnamese customs officers patrol a port in the province of Quang Ninh in August. Vietnam's government last year estimated free trade with the EU would almost double exports to the bloc by 2025.   © Reuters

PRAGUE/JAKARTA -- Southeast Asian countries facing the daunting challenge of kick-starting economic recoveries from COVID-19 are showing little interest in a step that could help -- fast-tracking free trade talks with the European Union.

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