Firms yet to capitalise on FTA

Thien Thanh Sanitaryware joint company

Firms yet to capitalise on FTA

Many Japanese firms in Viet Nam have failed to make the most of tariff preferences under the Viet Nam-Japan free trade agreement, said Atsuko Fukagawa, deputy managing director of the Japan External Trade Organisation (JETRO) office in HCM City. She made the remark at a workshop on the Viet Nam-Japan Free Trade Agreement (FTA) and Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) in HCM City on Wednesday

A JETRO survey of Japanese enterprises in Asia and Oceania last year indicated a FTA utilisation rate among those operating in Viet Nam at 36 per cent, which is lower than that of their peers in the region, for example, Indonesia (58.2 per cent), Thailand (53.7 per cent), and Malaysia (48.9 per cent).

At the event, experts updated attendees on the FTA and EPA, and clarified related rules of origin (ROO) requirements in the hope of helping Vietnamese and Japanese businesses take full advantage of the two agreements.

Nguyen Quan Phuc from the Import-Export Department under the Ministry of Industry and Trade, stressed the significance of the ROO as it helps determine imported goods that qualify for preferential tariffs.

Firms that meet the ROO requirements will benefit from the preferential tariffs and be able to expand their businesses further, he added.

Japanese companies in Viet Nam contributed about 60 percent of the Southeast Asian nation's exports to Japan and 20 percent of that to the ASEAN region.

Many Vietnamese businesses are also looking for opportunities to access the Japanese market.