Opportunities, challenges brought about by Vietnam-EU FTA examined

Thien Thanh Sanitaryware joint company

Opportunities, challenges brought about by Vietnam-EU FTA examined

Vietnamese and European experts pointed out opportunities and challenges facing local businesses and authorities once a free trade agreement between Vietnam and the European Union (EU) is signed while at a seminar in Ho Chi Minh City on October 26. Deputy Foreign Minister Le Hoai Trung said once it is inked, the Vietnam-EU Free Trade Agreement (VEFTA) will open up numerous opportunities for Vietnam, especially exports which are expected to profit from tax reductions.

Vietnam needs to improve its business climate in legal and policy aspects to respond to new opportunities and challenges, he noted, adding that localities should actively learn about those facts, build business partnership, better policy effectiveness, and promote human resources preparations.

The official underlined that his country and the EU signed the Partnership and Cooperation Agreement (PCA) on June 27, 2012, providing a framework for the comprehensive expansion of their cooperation.

The two sides began talks on the VEFTA on June 26, 2012, and declared that they concluded the majority of negotiations on August 4, 2015. The EU became the second largest importer and trading partner of Vietnam last year.

Seminar participants evaluated the potential and effectiveness of the VEFTA once it is signed and enforced while proposing concrete measures to enhance local authorities and enterprises’ awareness of the deal, since they are decisive to the successful implementation of the pact.

As part of the event, European entrepreneurs met with their Vietnamese counterparts and authorities to boost connections and seek business opportunities in the Southeast Asian nation.

Miriam Garcia Ferrer, Head of the Economics and Trade Section at the EU Delegation to Vietnam, said Vietnam is an important market of the EU and the bloc is also a market full of opportunities and challenges for Vietnam. The VEFTA will substantially benefit their peoples and business circles, creating a legal corridor for them to have regular dialogues and ensure business stability.

At the seminar, the Vietnamese Foreign Ministry inked a Memorandum of Understanding on cooperation with the European Chamber of Commerce in Vietnam and the EU – Vietnam Business Network with a view to increase connectivity; promote European firm investment, trade and business activities in Vietnam; and help local companies access European markets.