Expert: EVFTA – a lever to lure quality investment hinh anh 1Vietnam has signed various new-generation free trade agreements, including the CPTPP and EVFTA (Photo: VietnamPlus)

Hanoi (VNA) – The European Union – Vietnam Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA) offers chances for Vietnam to boost exports and attract more quality investment, said Dr. Vo Tri Thanh, Director of the Institute for Brand and Competitiveness Strategy.

The EVFTA and the EU-Vietnam Investment Protection Agreement (EVIPA) were ratified by the European Parliament on February 12. They are expected to be ratified by the Vietnamese National Assembly at its upcoming session in May 2020, and officially take into effect right after final procedures are completed.

To make people understand more about the preparation work before the EVFTA becomes effective, Thanh granted an interview to the e-newspaper VietnamPlus.

Reporter: The EVFTA has just been officially ratified by the European Parliament, so what opportunities and challenges do you think it will bring to Vietnam?

Dr. Vo Tri Thanh: This is a win-win agreement for both sides, and Vietnam also expects the agreement will open up many opportunities.

Expert: EVFTA – a lever to lure quality investment hinh anh 2Dr. Vo Tri Thanh, Director of the Institute for Brand and Competitiveness Strategy (Photo: VietnamPlus)

It is clear that the agreement is an opportunity to promote trade, especially exports, and attract investment, especially quality investment when Vietnam shifted to attracting strategic investments from quantity to quality.

The EVFTA, along with the CPTPP and other FTAs, is a catalyst for Vietnam to reform and accelerate the improvement of its business and investment environment and its institutional reform.

[EVFTA, EVIPA help Vietnam uphold position in int’l arena: Minister]

In addition, in the context of an uncertain world, the agreement will help Vietnam diversify its partners and markets.

Reporter: To achieve such advantages, there remain a lot of work that need to be done, especially the ratification by the National Assembly of Vietnam. In your opinion, what should we focus on in the coming time?

Dr. Vo Tri Thanh: Right after negotiations were finished in early 2016, Vietnam has embarked on the preparation work.

The preparation work is involved in different levels, from the Government and ministries and is reported to the National Assembly for approval. This means the work involves the engagement of the entire political system. Legal documents have also been amended to conform to the agreement.

The Ministry of Industry and Trade has also carried out a lot of work, coordinated with associations, and listened to businesses’ opinions, however, from now until it is reported to the National Assembly, the preparation process still needs to be implemented thoroughly and the accountability before the legislature requires compliance with practical requirements.

Reporter: Which procedures should authorized agencies carry out towards the ratification of the National Assembly in the time ahead?

Dr. Vo Tri Thanh: It is necessary to make people understand clearly about the agreements’ contents and their impacts on the country’s socio-economic development.

Another very important point is the improvement of Vietnam's legal and institutional frameworks. The EVFTA is a very important catalyst to promote institutional reform and to help Vietnam improve its market economic institution.

Reporter: Can you make some recommendations for businesses and people when the agreement becomes effective?

Dr. Vo Tri Thanh: We have participated in many free trade agreements with many important partners, but it requires time to make the integration strategy spread and benefit people and businesses.

Expert: EVFTA – a lever to lure quality investment hinh anh 3Joining EVFTA will open up more opportunities to increase two-way trade between Vietnam and EU member states (Photo: VietnamPlus)

The first point in my opinion is the awareness, which relates to communication works as well as our own experience.

A positive point that needs to be emphasised is that if Vietnam wants to develop and Vietnamese businesses want to thrive sustainably, there is no other way rather than integration, although integration has many challenges and risks.

In addition, the EVFTA is a high quality agreement, which contains strict requirements on origin principles, technical barriers, intelligence property, labour and the environment.

Reporter: Thank you very much./.