and Japanese exports to have tariffs cut
HA NOI — A comprehensive
free-trade agreement with Japan, which will take effect in July this year, was
ratified by Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung on Thursday.
It is expected that with
the new Viet Nam-Japan Economic Partnership Agreement (VJEPA), 92 per cent of
goods flowing between the two countries will no longer be subject to tariffs
within the next 10 years.
VJEPA is a comprehensive
bilateral trade agreement, covering areas such as goods and services,
investment, business environment improvement, labour movement, and technical
Some commodities such as
Viet Nam’s agricultural products, garments and marine products, as well as
Japan’s industrial commodities, including electronics and car equipment, will
enjoy tax reductions or exemptions under the agreement.
Initially, Japan will work
with Viet Nam to help train Vietnamese nurses in Japan, develop support
industries, establish a bilateral dialogue mechanism for the garment and textile
sector, improve food hygiene and safety inspection capacity, and perfect quality
The VJEPA will encourage
the economic co-operation, trade and investment exchanges between Viet Nam and
The agreement is providing
more opportunities for Vietnamese agricultural, forestry and aquacultural
companies to access the Japanese market, according to Le Trieu Dung, head of the
ASEAN section of the Ministry of Industry and Trade’s Multilateral Policy
For example, 23 out of the
30 types of Vietnamese agri-aqua-forestry commodities with the largest export
values will be exempt from tax, he said.
Japan will offer Viet Nam
a quota of 100 tonnes of honey a year and gradually increase to 150 tonnes, with
a tariff of 12.8 per cent imposed on export volume within the quota.
Durian will immediately
enjoy zero tax, while pepper and sweet corn will gradually see the elimination
of taxes over the next five to seven years. Coffee and tea will become tax-free
in 15 years’ time.
Shrimp exports will become
tax-free immediately, and cuttlefish and octopus will enjoy this benefit after
Dao Tran Nhan, deputy
director of the ministry’s Asia-Pacific Department, said that in the future,
Japan would have large demand for food processed from pork, fresh vegetable,
flowers, mechanical appliances and plastic items.
However, there were some
difficulties that Vietnamese enterprises wishing to access the Japanese market
should pay attention to, Nhan said.
The first difficulty is
that small and medium-sized Vietnamese enterprises often lack information about
the Japanese market, and lack experience in trading with Japanese companies, he
Secondly, Japan has been
tightening regulations for food hygiene safety for agricultural exports to the
country; Japanese consumers also have strict requirements for product quality.
Vietnamese firms should pay attention to Japanese’s purchasing habits, Nhan
Asia-Pacific Department, Viet Nam’s Commercial Affairs office in Tokyo and the
Commercial Affairs branch in Osaka act as an intermediary for enterprises to
seek Japanese partners and access their market.
VJEPA, which was initiated
during PM Dung’s visit to Japan in October 2006 was signed in Tokyo on
December 25 last year. — VNS