Vietnamese firms should adapt to the EU Green Deal to stay competitive in the EU

August 10, 2023 - 08:28
Nguyễn Thị  Hoàng Thúy, Commercial Counselor at the Việt Nam Trade Office in Sweden, speaks about new EU regulations for products imported into the market and opportunities for Vietnamese firms to expand cooperation with partners in the Nordic region.
Nguyễn Thị Hoàng Thúy, Commercial Counselor at the Việt Nam Trade Office in Sweden, concurrently Nordic region. — Photo

According to Nguyễn Thị Hoàng Thúy, Commercial Counselor at the Việt Nam Trade Office in Sweden, the EU Green Deal not only exposes Vietnamese firms to challenges but also creates new development opportunities. Therefore, the firms should be aware of changes that the deal will bring about and be ready to adapt so as to maintain their competitiveness in the EU market.

As the Vietnam International Sourcing 2023 event held by the Ministry of Industry and Trade is coming near, Thúy spoke to the media about new regulations that the EU sets for products imported into the market and chances for Vietnamese companies to expand cooperation with partners in the Nordic countries in particular and the EU at large.

At present, there have been great changes in the consumption pattern of the Nordic region after the COVID-19 pandemic, having both positive and negative impacts on international supply chains. What is the prominent trend?

The EU Green Deal presents a roadmap for the EU to boost the efficient use of resources, making a transition to a clean, circular economy in a just and inclusive way.

The deal encompasses policies such as the EU Action Plan for the Circular Economy, the Farm to Fork Strategy, the 2030 Biodiversity Strategy, and the Carbon Border Adjustment Mechanism.

These policies are expected to have impacts on trading activities within the European and Nordic markets, but also between European businesses and other partners.

Basically, the EU requires products exported to the market to be sustainable, recyclable, repairable, and energy-efficient. Food products must have sustainable certifications by satisfying common principles and requirements. Changes are undergoing and a new legal framework will be put in place this year.

Being one of the EU’s important partners, Việt Nam will likely see the deal having effects on some industries, the extent of which depends on each industry’s characteristics and specific solutions introduced in the deal.

The textile and footwear industries may be largely affected by this Deal because the EU is a major market for Việt Nam's exports for these products.

The EU Action Plan for the Circular Economy will require garment and textile products to be produced using environmentally friendly materials and processes, and adhere to sustainable standards and strict eco-labelling rules. Vietnamese businesses in this sector will need to adjust their production processes and invest in new technologies to stay competitive.

In the packaging industry, products must be made of environmentally friendly materials that can be fully recycled. This will affect Vietnamese businesses in the field of packaging production as well as businesses that use packaging for export products.

Another sector that could be affected by the EU Green Deal is agriculture and fisheries. The Green Deal sets out a more sustainable and environmentally friendly approach to agriculture, which will require Vietnamese businesses to apply sustainable food production and farming practices while investing in new technology and changing manufacturing processes to minimise waste discharge and reduce the use of hazardous chemicals.

In short, the EU Green Deal poses challenges for Vietnamese enterprises while also creating new development opportunities. Businesses need to be aware of the changes that the deal will bring about and be ready to adapt to the new situation to remain competitive in the EU market. At the same time, firms should anticipate new trends to create new, more sustainable and environmentally friendly products to get benefits in the long run.

The Việt Nam Trade Office in Sweden will lead a Nordic business delegation to participate in the event. What does the Trade Office expect from this event?

In mid-September, in HCM City, the Ministry of Industry and Trade will host the Vietnam International Sourcing Expo 2023. It includes a series of events, conferences and exhibitions to connect foreign distributors and importers with domestic producers and exporters.

The event aims to effectively support businesses in their efforts to participate more deeply in global production and supply chains and adapt to the trend of deeper international economic integration.

According to the plan, the Vietnam Trade Office in Sweden has promoted Vietnam International Sourcing 2023 widely on information channels and actively sought, contacted, worked with, and invited importers and distributors of host countries to participate in the event.

The Trade Office plans to organise a sourcing delegation with more than 10 Nordic enterprises to attend this event and visit some localities in Việt Nam. The Trade Office is coordinating with a number of local departments of Industry and Trade to facilitate this activity.

In addition, potential purchasing partners such as IKEA and H&M are expected to send their representatives in Asia and in Việt Nam to join the expo.

Swedish businesses look forward to meeting and trading with Vietnamese partners who have high-quality products, have obtained international certificates, and operate in some of Việt Nam's key industries such as food, textiles, footwear, sportswear, home appliances and furniture.

We hope that through the series of events Nordic businesses will find more sources of goods from Việt Nam and reach agreements as well as get new business ideas that are proposed at the forums, seminars and meetings.

It is known that the Nordic business delegation attending this Vietnam International Sourcing event has a representative of Gothenburg Port. This is the largest port in the Nordic region. They do not directly buy goods but are the most important potential partner at this time. Could you give more information about this partner?

Gothenburg Port was built in 1620 and is the largest seaport in Sweden where more than 800,000 containers and 30 per cent of Sweden's export goods are transported each year.

Vietnamese goods entering the Swedish market are usually imported through intermediaries in other European countries such as France, Germany, Belgium, Poland, and the Netherlands.

Therefore, although more and more Vietnamese goods are present in the Swedish market, export turnover has not been recorded commensurately. If the cooperation between seaports and airports is promoted, imports and exports will be shipped directly, without going through intermediary countries, which will help promote two-way trade between Việt Nam and Sweden, as well as the wider Nordic region.

For the Trade Office, cooperation with the Gothenburg Port also opens up opportunities to access the port's customers to promote trade. The Gothenburg Port will attend this expo to find reputable suppliers for their customers to increase their port services. They want customers who will have goods transported between Việt Nam and Sweden. This means they support us in trade promotion.

In addition to linking customers, building smart ports is also a field that the Gothenburg Port is interested in while looking for opportunities for cooperation with Việt Nam on this occasion. — VNS

A delegation of about 50 Belgian entrepreneurs is expected to come to Việt Nam to seek partners and attend Vietnam International Sourcing 2023, to be held in HCM City from September 13 to 15, said the Vietnamese Trade Office in Belgium and the EU.The office noted that the entrepreneurs will represent their businesses from the region of Flanders that operate in various sectors, from farm produce, machinery, and construction materials to real estate and logistics services.In particular, some have expressed their wish to be further connected with Vietnamese companies in such industries as confectionery and chocolate production, fruit, insulation film and outdoor product manufacturing via Vietnam International Sourcing 2023.