Vietnamese firms were once again urged to pay special attention to improving product quality to utilise opportunities under the free trade agreement (FTA) with the European Union (EU). — VNA/VNS Photo
HÀ NỘI – Vietnamese firms were once again urged to pay special attention to improving product quality to utilise opportunities under the free trade agreement (FTA) with the European Union (EU).
Trần Ngọc Quân, deputy director of the EU Market Department under the Ministry of Industry and Trade, said at a conference held yesterday by the Việt Nam Trade Promotion Agency in Hà Nội that the Việt Nam-EU FTA was expected to increase Việt Nam’s exports to this market by 4-6 per cent each year.
The FTA was an opportunity to increase the export of Việt Nam’s products, such as garments and textiles, footwear and seafood, to one of the most demanding markets in the world, which would help extend the reach of Vietnamese products globally, Quân said.
Transparency and protection of consumer rights were of great importance when exporting to the EU. “Products of firms which do not pay adequate attention to social responsibility and environment will hardly stand a chance in the EU market,” Quân said.
In order to utilise opportunities due to the liberalisation of 90 per cent of tariff lines, Quân said firms should promote trade promotion activities along with improving their product quality.
According to Trịnh Thị Thu Hiền from the Việt Nam Trade Promotion Agency, a certificate of origin (C/O) was necessary for firms to enjoy preferential tariffs.
It was important that firms actively study C/O requirements of the FTA and take action accordingly, Hiền said.
Nguyễn Thị Thu Trang, director of WTO and the Integration Centre, said opportunities were available but firms’ awareness about integration remained low. “If no improvements are made, firms could make use of only 30 per cent of the opportunities,” Trang said.
The EU is the biggest importer of Vietnamese goods and the second largest trade partner of Việt Nam.
In the first half of this year, bilateral trade between Việt Nam and the EU reached US$212 billion, rising by 9.35 per cent over the same period last year.
Việt Nam’s exports to the EU were $162 billion in the period, up 9.5 per cent. — VNS