Ba Ria-Vung Tau keen to bolster trade, investment ties with Europe hinh anh 1Secretary of the Ba Ria-Vung Tau provincial Party Committee Nguyen Hong Linh speaks at the seminar on August 2 (Photo: VNA)

Ba Ria-Vung Tau (VNA) – Opportunities to enhance trade and investment ties between the southern province of Ba Ria-Vung Tau and Europe offered by the EU-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA) were discussed at a seminar on August 2.

The event in Vung Tau city attracted more than 100 delegates from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ba Ria-Vung Tau province, the European Chamber of Commerce in Vietnam (EuroCham), along with Vietnamese and European businesses.

Deputy Foreign Minister Bui Thanh Son said the EVFTA and the EU-Vietnam Investment Protection Agreement (EVIPA), both signed on June 30, open a “new horizon” for stronger, extensive and comprehensive cooperation between Vietnam and the EU, meeting the demand of their localities, businesses and people.

To effectively implement the two deals, the Vietnamese Prime Minister has requested ministries, sectors, localities and enterprises to make thorough preparations and stay active to optimise the benefits generated by the two agreements, especially the EVFTA – one of the first new-generation FTAs to be carried out in Vietnam, he noted.

EuroCham Vice Chairman Jean-Jacques Bouflet said the EVFTA is the result of unceasing efforts by both Vietnam and the EU, affirming that it is an important milestone on the path to a broader trade agreement with the Southeast Asian region.

European businesses consider Ba Ria-Vung Tau a key locality for cooperation activities once the EVFTA is ratified and takes effect, he said, noting the evidence that nearly 40 European firms attended the seminar.

Introducing local advantages, Secretary of the Ba Ria-Vung Tau provincial Party Committee Nguyen Hong Linh said the province has enough confidence to welcome investors from Europe as it owns good infrastructure, including a system of modern deep-water ports able to handle vessels of 200,000 DWT. 

It also boasts many comparative advantages compared to other localities in the southern key economic region. Some of the world’s leading businesses have invested in many big projects in the province, which also holds considerable tourism potential.

Linh said Ba Ria-Vung Tau pledges to enhance cooperation with foreign agencies and organisations, continue improving the local investment climate to create the best possible conditions for foreign firms, and accompany businesses and investors on the path of development and integration.

At the seminar, participants looked into issues related to seaports, seaport logistics, industry, hi-tech agriculture and high-quality tourism, which are also the fields in which Ba Ria-Vung Tau can make use of chances under the EVFTA. They also discussed the province’s attraction of and support for investors.

By the end of June this year, Ba Ria-Vung Tau had attracted more than 300 FDI projects whose registered capital approximates to 30 billion USD, including 68 projects worth 3.5 billion USD invested by European enterprises.-VNA