HA NOI (VNS) — The Ministry of Industry and Trade, at a conference yesterday discussed opportunities and challenges arising from free trade agreements (FTAs) to garment and textile firms in northern Nam Dinh Province.
According to Deputy Director of the ministry's Department of Export-Import Tran Thanh Hai, cuts on duties for garment products from Viet Nam exported to countries with signed FTAs would help enhance product competitiveness.
However, the ministry pointed out that the support industry for the garment and textile sector had not met the demand as Viet Nam remained dependent on the import of raw materials. The ministry cited statistics showing that Viet Nam currently must import around 50 per cent of raw material for garment sector, mainly from China.
If the situation did not improve, it would be hard for Vietnamese businesses to take advantages of the FTAs, according to the ministry.
Experts also urged businesses to pay attention to the rule of origin to take advantages of FTAs. Hai said that this, in turn, would create the impetus to promote the development of support industries.
Dang Phuong Dung, deputy president of the Viet Nam Garment and Apparel Association, urged garment firms to apply technology in production to boost the added value of products while promoting brand building.
Dung also stressed the importance of information dissemination to enhance the awareness of businesses about FTAs and be prepared.
The garment and textile industry of Viet Nam had great opportunities amid a rapid integration process with many FTAs signed or under negotiation, such as Trans-Pacific Partnership and FTAs with the European Union and Korea.
Customs statistics showed that the total export value of the garment and textile sector in Viet Nam totalled more than $15 billion in the first eight months of this year, up nearly 11 per cent over the same period last year. — VNS