The European Union – Vietnam Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA) is like an “expressway” connecting Vietnam and Europe that will speed up trade and investment cooperation between the two sides, said experts.
At a seminar hosted by the Government portal on March 23 in Hanoi, experts said that the agreement will expand exports of Vietnamese goods to Europe, while welcoming high-quality goods and investments from the market.
Nguyen Thi Thu Trang, Director of the Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI)'s WTO and Integration Centre, described the EVFTA as an almost “barrier-free” expressway which will help Vietnamese goods reach their destination faster than other competitors.
However, Vietnamese enterprises need to prepare well by promoting the application of technology in production to improve the quality and competitiveness of their products, she noted.
She said the agreement offers great opportunities and benefits to Vietnamese businesses that import machinery and electronic equipment.
For Vietnam, it is necessary to quickly issue relevant legal documents to inform local firms clearly about the procedures and regulations related export to and import from the European market.
Management agencies need to have “quick response" divisions so if any problem arises, they can be resolved swiftly, Trang said.
Luong Hoang Thai, director of the Multilateral Trade Policy Department under the Ministry of Industry and Trade, advised Vietnamese enterprises to pay special attention to technical and food safety requirements in the EU, saying that if they meet the standards, they will enjoy preferences from the market.
Vietnamese firms should learn from those familiar with the EU market, thus better meeting its requirements, Thai said.
The EVFTA was signed on June 30 last year and was ratified on February 12 this year by the European Parliament. Specialists and companies expect the deal will be approved by Vietnam’s National Assembly deputies in May 2020 so that it officially takes effect.
If approved, Vietnamese companies will be able to tap a huge market with a population of 508 million and a total GDP of about US$19 trillion.