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Quality the key in exports to EU

Released at: 16:19, 28/09/2016

Quality the key in exports to EU

Photo: Hai Van

Conference hears that focus on product quality is required for Vietnam to benefit from EVFTA.

by Hai Anh

A range of opportunities will arise for Vietnam when the EU-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA) comes into effect and there is a need for Vietnamese businesses to improve product standards.

A conference of trade between the two held in Hanoi on September 27 covered both the opportunities and challenges for Vietnamese enterprises when the EVFTA comes into being.

“Vietnamese enterprises must enhance product quality to meet the requirements of the EU market,” Mr. Tran Ngoc Quan, Deputy Director General of the European Market Department under the Ministry of Trade and Industry (MoIT), told the gathering.

In recent years the policies of the EU towards Vietnam have seen positive changes but still offer fewer incentives than for other ACP (African, Caribbean, and Pacific) countries and underdeveloped countries, which are subject to a 0 per cent tax rate on nearly all imports.

The Deputy Manager of MoIT’s General Trading Department, Mr. Nguyen Cong Danh, believes that “the standards required by EU countries are much higher than other markets Vietnam exports to.”

“The most difficult matters for Vietnamese enterprises when entering the EU are technical barriers on standards for each and every product,” he said.

According to MoIT, the EU is a market of some potential and accounts for 74.7 per cent of Vietnam’s trade turnover in Europe as a whole. Export turnover has also significantly increased over the years.

Trade turnover from 2000 to 2015 has increased ten-fold, from only $4.1 billion in 2000 to $41.4 billion in 2015, of which exports from Vietnam have increased eleven-fold and imports to Vietnam eight-fold, according to MoIT figures.

Ms Tran Tuyet Lan, General Manager of Craft Link, told VET that there are numerous opportunities to boost trade with the EU but the high standards can be a burden for local enterprises. “Success depends on the strategy and determination of each Vietnamese enterprise to meet the requirements set by the EU,” she said.

Head of the EU Delegation in Vietnam, Mr. Bruno Angelet, told a press conference on June 28 in Hanoi that the Brexit crisis will not delay the implementation of the EVFTA.

The agreement is expected to take effect in early 2018 and could increase two-way trade by 30 per cent against the 2015 figure of $57 billion.

“The FTA is in the process of being translated into many languages and the EU will keep working with MoIT on legislation and preparations,” Mr. Angelet said.

Total trade turnover between Vietnam and the EU in the first five months of this year reached $17.3 billion, up 10.35 per cent year-on-year. Exports from Vietnam stood at $13.3 billion, up 10.5 per cent, while imports to Vietnam were $4 billion, up 9.8 per cent.

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