Viet Nam News
HÀ NỘI – Deputy Prime Minister Vương Đình Huệ has asked the Inter-Sectoral Steering Committee for Economic Integration to improve studies and forecasts of integration developments, especially negotiations of free trade agreements (FTAs), in order to devise appropriate policies.
Issues which need to be addressed included impacts of trade protectionism in Asia-Pacific, the US’ withdrawal from the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), the focus of the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC), non-tariff barriers and trade facilitation in ASEAN and policy recommendations for Việt Nam, Huệ said at the steering committee’s meeting on Tuesday.
Huệ added that trade with Middle East and African markets must be promoted in an effort to diversify export markets.
In addition, Huệ asked the steering committee to study trade defence policies to contribute to drafting the Law on Foreign Trade Management.
Huệ also stressed the importance of creating a favourable business and investment climate for both domestic and foreign firms and enhancing the national competitiveness amid rapid international integration. He said that specialised checks on import and export products were burdening firms, adding that those regulations must be amended.
“Việt Nam has integrated with the world with economic integration the focus. Co-ordination among relevant agencies, local authorities and firms must be promoted to accelerate international integration,” Huệ said.
According to the Multilateral Trade Policy Department under the Ministry of Industry and Trade, Việt Nam made careful preparations in negotiating FTAs, thus, the country was benefiting significantly from the trade deals, such as the Việt Nam – Korea and Việt Nam – Chile FTAs.
The department answered the Deputy Prime Minister’s question in September last year about exports of Việt Nam to ASEAN falling despite the AEC already being formed.
The department said that the capacity of Vietnamese firms in grasping opportunities from a single market remained low, adding that only 30 per cent of firms could take advantage from the single market. This was because domestic firms did not target ASEAN markets to expand exports, according to the department.
In addition, trade barriers were increasing among ASEAN countries and firms needed support to overcome them, the department said.
According to a Government report to the National Assembly at the end of last year, to date, Việt Nam has signed 12 bilateral and multilateral trade deals, 10 of which have come into force.
The two yet to come into force are EU-Việt Nam FTA and TPP with the former expected to take effect in 2018 while the later is uncertain after the US withdrawal.
Four other FTAs are under negotiation, including the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership, ASEAN – Hong Kong FTA, FTA with Israel and with European Free Trade Association. - VNS