Vietnamese firms should enquire into the goods distribution network and tastes of customers from the European Union (EU) to seek effective ways into its massive market, a conference heard in Ho Chi Minh City on April 25.

Trade with the bloc has seen positive growth despite the global economic recession and the public debt crisis in some European countries. Since 2012, the EU has surpassed the US to become the biggest importer and the second leading trade partner of Vietnam.

Last year, two-way trade hit 33.7 billion USD, up 16 percent over 2012. Of this sum, Vietnam shipped 24.3 billion USD worth of goods, posting a yearly rise of 19 percent.

Nguyen Duc Thuong, Deputy Head of the European Market Department, said that the thorough study of the European tastes will help increase the presence of local businesses in the market, especially at a time when the two sides are negotiating a bilateral free trade agreement (FTA).

Sharing this view, Claudio Dordi, team leader of t he European Trade Policy and Investment Support Project (MUTRAP EU-Vietnam), highlighted the EU as a single market whose members share regulations and standards for imported goods.

Participants also underlined the advantages and challenges for Vietnamese exporters when trading with EU partners, and raised recommendations for businesses to develop their operations in the market.-VNA