The Vietnam-EU Free Trade Agreement expected to be signed in October would bring “win-win” opportunities of success for both sides’ business communities, said delegates at the “Vietnam-EU FTA: Opportunities and Challenges for the Business Community” forum on May 13 in Ho Chi Minh City.
“It is high time for Vietnam to find a more predictable and stable legal framework for bilateral commercial trade, as the country has achieved a certain level of strong competitiveness in overseas market,” said Jean-Jacques Bouflet, Minister-Counselor and head of the Trade and Economic section of the EU delegation to Vietnam.
“An FTA is definitely an answer for this as it is a preferential access arrangement for Vietnamese products contractually guaranteed by treaty,” he added.
It would enable Vietnamese firms to enjoy lower export duties than those offered by the Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) when exporting goods to the EU because, under the FTA, tariffs on most Vietnamese exports to the EU would gradually drop to zero, he said.
To enjoy benefits of the FTA, local companies needed to be aware of technical barriers to trade imposed by the EU and increase investment to improve product quality, delegates said.
Vietnamese firms should spend time studying the EU requirements and adjust their products and production processes to satisfy such requirements, general director of TUV Rheinland Vietnam, Frank Juettner said, urging these firms to conduct research to understand European consumers’ tastes and demands.
Dang Hoang Hai, head of the Ministry of Industry and Trade’s European Market Department, advised Vietnamese firms to work directly with and export their products to EU supermarkets. Once their products can enter EU supermarket chains, they can enter other distribution channels there, he said.-