|A project that seeks to promote trade among Vietnamese enterprises, as well as between them and European Union (EU) firms was launched in Ha Noi on Wednesday. — Photo baohaiquan
HA NOI (VNS) — A project that seeks to promote trade among Vietnamese enterprises, as well as between them and European Union (EU) firms was launched in Ha Noi on Wednesday.
The three-year-long Trade Capacity Viet Nam project, worth 525,000 euros (more than US$650,000), will see the participation of more than 150 Vietnamese small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).
It will also facilitate the involvement of associations in developing trade policies and international investment, while improving the trade capacities of SMEs.
The project's Director Nguyen Van Toan said that a nuclear trade network of 300 Vietnamese SMEs will be established in order to increase the links between domestic firms in this field.
Vietnamplus quoted Jean Jacques Bouflet, Minister Counsellor of the EU delegation to Viet Nam, as saying that the free-trade agreement between Viet Nam and the EU, which is expected to be signed soon, will bring huge opportunities for domestic enterprises, including tax reductions for major products such as apparel, seafood and footwear.
In order to take full advantage of the agreement, SMEs should improve their understanding of the EU market and its consumers, while getting deeply involved with the EU distribution system, Bouflet said, adding that the reviewed project will help these firms by improving their capacities and providing trade support.
Former Trade Minister Truong Dinh Tuyen agreed that Vietnamese businesses will get several opportunities when the Viet Nam-EU free-trade agreement gets inked. However, he warned that there are also challenges ahead such as of competition, financial capacities and human resources.
Domestic enterprises, especially SMEs, need to overcome these challenges and make full use of the new opportunities that the agreement will bring to expand their trade and investment relations, he said.
Last year, the Viet Nam-EU bilateral trade reached US$33.6 billion, a year-on-year increase of 16 per cent, of which Viet Nam's exports accounted for $24.4 billion.
The EU is one of the biggest investors in Viet Nam, with 1,401 investment projects and a total registered capital of $18.02 billion in various sectors, including industry, construction and services, Tuyen pointed out.
Viet Nam mainly exports apparel, footwear and coffee, besides furniture and seafood to the EU, while the EU exports machinery, medicines and aircraft, as well as equipment and vehicles. — VNS