|Vietnamese lychees exported to the EU under the EVFTA. The implementation of the EU - Việt Nam Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA) has greatly helped make up for a downturn in the economy caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. — VNA/VNS Photo|
HÀ NỘI — The implementation of the EU - Việt Nam Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA) has greatly helped make up for a downturn in the economy caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, according to experts.
Nguyễn Thị Thu Trang, Director of the Centre for WTO and International Trade at the Việt Nam Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI), said since the EVFTA took effect on August 1, 2020, trade between Việt Nam and the EU has posted impressive growth.
Despite numerous pandemic-triggered difficulties, Việt Nam’s exports to the EU still hit US$40.06 billion and imports $16.89 billion last year, respectively rising 14.1 per cent and 15.3 per cent from 2020.
After more than one year of the EVFTA enforcement, more businesses have grasped and made use of preferential tariffs under this deal. From the date it came into force to the end of 2020, the EUR.1 certificate of origin was used for $2.35 billion in exports while 15.1 per cent of the shipments to the EU benefited from preferential tariffs. The respective figures stood at $5.15 billion and 22.5 per cent in the first seven months of 2021, Trang noted at a workshop in Hà Nội on Friday.
Dr Lê Đăng Doanh, an economic expert, described the EVFTA signing as a demonstration of Việt Nam’s success in diversifying its external economic relations to avoid overdependence on a single market or a single source of supply and reduce risks for the economy.
The Vietnamese and EU economies were complementary to each other, so the EVFTA implementation benefits both sides, he said, elaborating that Việt Nam could import the products it is unable to make from the EU, which in turn could import the commodities Việt Nam has strength in such as apparel and agricultural products.
The agreement also helped facilitate institutional reform in Việt Nam, he added.
Trade experts held that amid the pandemic’s adverse impacts on the entire trade and investment activities in the world, including Việt Nam, the EVFTA enforcement held great significance as it helped compensate for a downturn in the economy, diversify market opportunities, and create momentum for post-pandemic growth.
This was also a chance for enterprises to engage in new supply chains replacing the traditional ones that were currently interrupted or stagnant due to COVID-19, they added.
However, they also pointed out that because of limited capacity, Vietnamese businesses still faced certain problems in utilising preferential tariffs.
To further grasp opportunities, Trang underlined the need to improve domestic firms’ capacity, recommending enterprises be more proactive in all trading activities.
In addition, authorities also needed to provide necessary assistance in terms of market information, trade promotion, and business climate improvement, she added. — VNS