Dialogue spotlights EU-Vietnam free trade, investment protection pacts hinh anh 1Scene at the event (Photo: VNA)

Hanoi (VNA) – A dialogue took place in Hanoi on July 1 to discuss opportunities for Vietnamese enterprises resulted from the just-signed EU – Vietnam Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA) and Investment Protection Agreement (EVIPA).

Speaking at the event, Minister of Industry and Trade Tran Tuan Anh said the EVFTA not only helps Vietnam expand market and increase export value of its products, but also draws a new wave of EU investment to the country. It will also facilitate the sides to form their new value chains, he added.

The official noted the EVIPA supports Vietnam in consolidating its international position as a responsible country in the development of globalisation toward trade liberalisation and facilitation.

When the two pacts take effect, they are expected to help Vietnam complete its legal framework and institution and improve the local business climate. As a result, European investors will have better conditions to engage in the development of Vietnam’s food processing, high-tech, and auto industries, among others. Vietnam will also become a magnet to EU capital and a connecting point for the bloc’s trade-investment activities in the ASEAN region.

European Commissioner for Trade Cecilia Malmstrom affirmed the EU wants to soon obtain the approval of the European Parliament to carry out the agreements.

She said negotiators open opportunities from these pacts and businessmen and people are direct participants that will create products, investments, and jobs for prosperity and sustainable growth.

Echoing the view, Chairman of the European Chamber of Commerce in Vietnam (EuroCham) Nicolas Audier said that the pacts bring about both opportunities and challenges, and that enterprises play a key role in translating these opportunities into practical projects.

Chairman of the Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI) Vu Tien Loc said the two agreements are the best among those Vietnam has joined to date in terms of liberalizing trade and ensuring environment and labour protection standards.

Challenges to local enterprises are large as most of them are small- and medium-sized ones, he added.

According to a VCCI survey, 70 percent of Vietnamese companies asked said they have yet to gain information on or pay attention to the EVFTA.

Loc said the VCCI and EuroCham have basically agreed to design a joint action programme, establish a joint EU – Vietnam business council, and hold an annual EU – Vietnam enterprises’ forum to connect the two business communities and make recommendations on bilateral cooperation to the governments of Vietnam and EU member nations.

The EVFTA and EVIPA were officially signed in Hanoi on June 30 afternoon, in the witness of Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc, Vietnamese National Assembly and Government leaders, and leaders of the EU.-VNA 
VNA