Ha Duy Tung, Vice Director of the Ministry of Finance’s International Cooperation Department (Photo: VNA)

Hanoi (VNA) – The EU-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA), which was freshly signed in Hanoi on June 30, is expected to bring about many opportunities for Vietnamese enterprises, especially those involved in exporting major products like seafood, apparels, footwear, and farm produce.

According to Ha Duy Tung, Vice Director of the Ministry of Finance’s International Cooperation Department, right after the deal takes effect Vietnam will eliminate 48.5 percent of tariff lines, equivalent to 64.5 percent of import revenue from the EU.

After 10 years, 99 percent of the tariff lines will be abolished, or 99.8 percent of the import revenue from the EU.

Regarding commitments on export tariffs, Vietnam pledges to erase tariffs on goods exported to the EU in a 15-year roadmap. Export tariff commitments contained in the EVFTA are basically similar to those that Vietnam has made in the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP), he said.

Tung noted that the EVFTA also includes commitments on customs, aiming to simplify customs procedures and create favourable conditions for import-export activities through strengthening the exchange of information related to customs requirements, modernizing and simplifying customs procedures, and ensuring transparency of all customs requirements.

At the same time, commitments that Vietnam has made in the EFVTA in financial services, including insurance and securities services, are equivalent to those the country has made to the World Trade Organisation and other FTAs it has signed, said Tung.

He noted that the EU is currently the fourth largest trade partner of Vietnam after China, the Republic of Korea, and the US. The EU is also the second biggest market of Vietnam with 2018 revenue reaching 41.99 billion USD, up 9.5 percent year on year.

Once the EVFTA becomes effective, the EU will remove about 85.6 percent of tariff lines on Vietnamese goods, or 70.3 percent of Vietnam’s export revenue to the EU. After seven years, the lifted tariffs will be 99.2 percent, or 99.7 percent of Vietnam’s export turnover.

Particularly, tropical agricultural products, which are strengths of Vietnam, are not subject to the EU’s huge protection. Therefore, Vietnam will enjoy chances to increase the export of these products to the market.

On the other hand, many domestic sectors will face fiercer competition pressures, including automobile, pharmaceuticals, and breeding, Tung said.

Vietnam’s aquatic products, though enjoying lower import tariffs, will have to meet the EU’s requirements on food safety, he added.-VNA