Experts: EVFTA looks towards sustainable development hinh anh 1Illustrative image (Photo: VNA)

HCM City (VNA)
– The European Union – Vietnam Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA) not only promotes trade and investment growth between Vietnam and the EU but also creates a driving force to boost cooperation in improving growth quality, towards sustainable development, experts said.

During an online forum co-hosted by the Vietnamese Ministry of Industry and Trade and the European Chamber of Commerce in Vietnam in Ho Chi Minh City on July 31, Deputy Minister of Industry and Trade Hoang Quoc Vuong said since the establishment of diplomatic ties in 1990, economic-trade-investment ties between Vietnam and the EU have been growing. Two-way trade rose 13-fold to 56.45 billion USD last year from nearly 4.1 billion USD in 2000.

Of the figure, Vietnam’s exports to the EU neared 41.5 billion USD while imports surpassed 14.9 billion USD. As of May, 26 out of 27 EU member states invested in 2,040 projects worth 21.66 billion USD in Vietnam.

With the EVFTA enforcement on August 1, Vuong said commitments in the deal will further expand export markets, especially for goods of strength such as tropical fruits, aquatic products, footwear, apparel and wooden furniture from Vietnam and the EU’s automobiles, pharmaceuticals and chemicals.

Vietnamese Commercial Counsellor in Sweden Nguyen Hoang Thuy said the potential of Vietnam’s growth of export to the EU remains huge. Vietnam’s shipments to seven Western European nations reached 29 billion USD while its exports to the remaining 20 countries only hit 6 billion USD.

EuroCham Vice Chairman Jean Jacques Bouflet said the EVFTA reflects the EU’s expectation on promoting comprehensive trade and investment with Vietnam. Accordingly, the EU enterprises will have a chance to access one of the most vibrant consumption markets in ASEAN and Asia and compete on equal terms with countries signing FTA with Vietnam like Japan and the Republic of Korea.

Vice Ambassador and Commercial Counsellor of Germany in Vietnam Weert Borner said the EVFTA also creates a driving force for Vietnam to apply labour and environment standards, promote the effective and economical use of land and water resources, thus meeting demand for sustainable development.

General Director of Bosch Vietnam Company Guru Mallikarjuna said the EU enterprises expect that the deal will help Vietnam fuel institution reform, create a more transparent business environment, continue improving workforce quality, step up digitalisation of information and management process, and issue a special mechanism to encourage investment in hi-tech and supply chain development./.