Illustrative photo (Photo:VNA)

HCM City (VNA)
– Opportunities and challenges for Vietnam under the EU-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA) were highlighted at a workshop held in Ho Chi Minh City on June 1.

Vietnam and the EU have agreed to push the ratification process to make the agreement effective in 2018. Both parties expect the EVFTA will allow them to boost economic growth, stimulate trade and investment cooperation and create more job opportunities.

It is crucial for Vietnam to review and make amendments to its relevant laws and regulations in order to ensure consistency with the FTA commitments. As doing so may have a huge impact on domestic businesses as well as the country’s key sectors.

The EVFTA will help Vietnamese enterprises improve their competitiveness and gain more access to the EU markets, said George Berczely, Chairman of the Transportation and Logistics Sector Committee of the European Chamber of Commerce in Vietnam (EuroCham).

To enjoy tariff and customs incentives under the deal, Vietnam needs to comply with its commitments regarding rules of origin and intellectual property rights, he added.

Each industry will have its own tariff elimination schedule after the FTA comes into force in 2018. However, enterprises should be preparing themselves from now with the equipment and materials required to form complete supply chains, especially those in the garment & textiles, and footwear sectors.

They should also be less dependent on imported materials and have a diverse supplier base to ensure their sustainable development.

Speaking of trade facilitation, Nicolas Audier from EuroCham said the EVFTA will provide simplified customs procedures with pre-arrival processing that will enable the release of goods on arrival, but it also requires both parties to maintain transparency and responsibility to the commitments.-VNA