|"In the new generation of FTAs, EU will pay attention to social issues relating to employees' benefit, environmental protection and other issues," said Claudio Dordi, team leader of MUTRAP EU – Viet Nam.— Photo baodanang
HCM CITY (VNS) — The theme of increased market opportunities and stiffer challenges was reiterated by many speakers yesterday at a workshop that dealt with the European Union's commercial policies relating to Free Trade Agreements.
The event was organised by the Viet Nam Multilateral Trade Project (MUTRAP). The project supports the nation's deeper integration into ASEAN and the regional and global commercial system; increasing investment ties with the EU; and extraction of maximum economic benefits from multilateral agreements.
"We are expecting that the Free Trade Agreement (FTA) between the European Union and Viet Nam would be signed next year after four rounds of discussion, "said Brynari Fornari, deputy head of EU's Co-operation and Development Department.
He said that besides traditional pledges like open market and tax reductions, the FTA will focus on investment environment, intellectual property, sustainable development and will strongly affect many important Vietnamese industries.
EU now includes 28 nations but still is one single market, and the bloc is expanding its policies to admit more countries.
"In the new generation of FTAs, EU will pay attention to social issues relating to employees' benefit, environmental protection and other issues," said Claudio Dordi, team leader of MUTRAP EU – Viet Nam.
With a huge population and great manpower potential, Viet Nam should benefit handsomely from the FTA, but "the country needs to make proper policies: developing is economy in line with social targets," said the former deputy head of the European Commission's Commerce Department, Pierre Defraigne.
In related news, the European Union signed a five-year contract worth 4 million euros with the French Chamber of Commerce and Industry in Viet Nam to set up the Support Centre for European Small and Medium-sized Enterprises in HCM City.
"We have recognised a strong need of support for European SMEs as the economic integration in East Asia is very strong and fast, production is moving quickly to developing nations like Viet Nam, but the country is far away for European SMEs to find opportunities. Hence the need to set up this centre," said Franz Jessen, Ambassador, Head of European Union's Delegation to Viet Nam.
The centre seeks to assist new SMEs on the cultural, legal and administrative aspects of setting up shop in Viet Nam.
The centre will have its first opportunity on November 12 as EU vice president Antonio Tajani pays a working visit to Viet Nam along with a large delegation of European SMEs.
The prospect of FTA between Viet Nam and EU being signed next year has attracted interest from many European SMEs because they want to find a stable investment environment, said Pierre Jean Malgouyres, chairman of the French Chamber of Commerce and Industry in Viet Nam.
"And we hope more European companies will come to Viet Nam soon," he said. — VNS