Hanoi (VNA) – The EU-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA) going into effect has given an extra push for Vietnamese goods into the Swedish market as import tariff cut heightens their competitiveness, Diep Van Ty, chairman of the Vietnamese trade association in Sweden, has said.

Food and foodstuff are the biggest earners from the trade deal since the tariffs were slashed to zero as soon as it took effect, said Ty, who is also Chairman of East Asian Food AB, a Sweden-based food importer. These are also the most popular Vietnamese exports to Sweden, he added.

Data from the Vietnamese Trade Office in Sweden showed Vietnam was among the three exporters of rice, besides the US and Norway, posting positive growth in the Northern European country, attributable to the benefits brought about by the EVFTA.

Ty pointed out several challenges facing Vietnamese goods in the Swedish market, notably high shipping costs caused by the long geographical distance between the two countries.

Many Swedish consumers have become familiar with food imported from Thailand and other countries, so it takes time to influence their taste and habit, he explained, adding that the supply of most of the imports from Vietnam can be disrupted by seasonal factors.

To fix the problems, the Vietnamese trade association plans to raise investment for the construction of a major logistics centre for Vietnamese products located at the city of Malmo, expected to facilitate the distribution of goods in Sweden and reduce costs.

The association is also considering to send a delegation to Vietnam this year to seek for quality and stable suppliers./.