It is crucial to enhance business understanding of free trade agreements (FTAs) and bilateral investment trades (BITs), experts said.

During a June 29 conference co-hosted by the Central Institute for Economic Management (CIEM) and the ActionAid Vietnam (AAV) in Hanoi, participants heard a research report on the expected impacts of FTAs and BITs on long-term development goals, particularly in the food processing and electronics sectors.

According to the report, some 20 percent of businesses in the two sectors have learned about the tariff incentives offered by the FTAs and only 10 percent are aware of incentives for FDI enterprises in the sectors.

The report also pointed to challenges facing Vietnam in devising proper incentives for the two sectors due to commitments in the framework of the agreements.

Nguyen Anh Duong from the CIEM’s macro-economic policy section (VICEM) highlighted the space for other measures to promote the domestic industrial electronics sector, suggesting the Government devise incentives on interest rates, technical assistance, education and training and trade promotion.

Echoing Duong’s suggestion of Government support for domestic businesses, Pham Tien Dung from the Economica Vietnam said the Government can develop more sophisticated protection measures to support small- and medium-sized food processing enterprises in line with international integration.

He also stressed the role of associations in updating enterprises on international agreements as well as food safety and hygiene requirements and technical standards.

Vo Tri Thanh, CIEM Deputy Director, called for directive assistance from the Government for enterprises via a favourable business climate reflected by incentives on infrastructure facilities, preferential loans and technologies.-VNA