Vietnamese businesses were provided with information about exports to the European market at a seminar held by the European Chamber of Commerce in Vietnam (EuroCham) in Ho Chi Minh City on Nov. 2.

The seminar is envisaged as part of the “ Capacity Building on Trade Policy for Vietnamese Business Associations” project and the “EU-Vietnam Multilateral Trade Assistance Project III” (MUTRAP III).

Speaking at the seminar, Dr. Vo Tri Thanh, Deputy Head of the Central Institute for Economic Management, said the EU market still holds much potential although the world’s economic growth in the fourth quarter of 2011 and 2012 signals a trend of decrease.

He underlined the need for Vietnamese businesses to carry out flexible strategies to seek markets and partners in the 27-nation EU region, with a focus on potential markets.

Apart from price, the quality of products and their design play an important role in raising competitiveness of Vietnamese goods, Thanh said.

The Vietnamese Government is implementing many solutions to support small and medium enterprises through export tax and credits, he added.

Albert Franceskinj, a lawyer from Fidal Franceskinj Chazard and Partners law firm, suggested Vietnamese businesses operate in groups and sectors or join associations to access more information about potential business partners.

Vietnamese enterprises need to make efforts in improving professional production activities, meeting regulations of the export market and avoiding risks regarding competition and anti-dumping laws of the respective country, the lawyer said.

In the January-October period, Vietnam ’s exports to the EU recorded a year-on-year increase of 30 percent. The EU is seen as an important market of Vietnam ’s footwear, garment and textiles, aquatic products, coffee and wood products.

Vietnam and the EU are considering and negotiating free trade agreements to expand export markets for businesses./.