Illustrative photo (Source: VNA)

Hanoi (VNA) – The garment-textile sector will gain significant benefits but, at the same time, face several challenges brought about by the EU-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA) once it takes effect, experts said at an online conference on August 2.

Luong Hoang Thai, Director of the Ministry of Industry and Trade (MoIT)’s Multilateral Trade Policy Department, highlighted the potential advantage.

He said that all tariff imposed on garment-textile products will gradually go down to zero percent, with 77 percent of the goods seeing their tariff immediately eliminated right after the pact comes into force.  

The EU is the top apparel importer in the world and the second biggest import market of Vietnam’s garment-textile products, he added.

Nguyen Thi Thu Trang, director of the World Trade Organisation (WTO) Integration Centre at the Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI), said the sector’s shipments to EU reeled in 5.6 billion USD in revenue.

She said the figure was high but accounted for only 2.02 percent of the bloc’s total value of garment and textile imports, adding that this means room for growth remains extensive.

Chairman of the Vietnam Textile & Apparel Association (VITAS) Vu Duc Giang pointed to a shortage of supplies, as the sector needs to meet the agreement’s requirements for product origin.

He also spoke about difficulties facing firms that want to invest in fabric dying but are being rejected by localities over environmental concerns.

Giang told local authorities not to worry and explained that foreign partners have strict requirements for environmental protection and wastewater treatment technologies in the world have reached an advanced level.

He asked the MoIT to announce at an early date a list of tariff lines applied for different types of garment-textile products.

The VITAS will organise workshops to update relevant information for businesses in the sector.-VNA