Domestic exporters expect to accelerate shopments of products to Chile in the wake of the recent signing of the Free Trade Agreement (FTA) between the two countries.

Vietnam and Chile signed the FTA earlier this month. Under the agreement, 83.54 percent of Vietnamese goods to Chile will be exempted from the tax.

Vietnamese ambassador to Chile Ha Thi Ngoc Ha forecast that Vietnam's export turnover to the market will increase sharply after the deal compared to the current modest figure.

Vietnam's exports to Chile reached nearly 400 million USD last year from 20 million USD in 2000, she said. The export value in the first nine months of the year was nearly 400 million USD.

Chile is considered a potential market for Vietnamese goods, particularly textiles and garments, footwear, seafood and woodwork products. However, prior to the agreement, exports remained insignificant due to Vietnam's difficulty in competing against significantly cheaper Chinese alternatives.

The tax exemption under the FTA is expected to make Vietnamese products more competitive in the Chilean market.

Deputy director of the Viet Tien Garment Co Phan Van Kiet said that domestic textile and garment exporters will boost trade promotion activities in the Chilean market to take advantage of the zero-tax policy.

The Protrade Garment Co in the southern Binh Duong province, which has offered products to Chile in the past but failed to find success due to competition with cheaper products from China, plans to resume shipping products to the market in the wake of the tax exemption. /.