Firms see both opportunities and challenges from FTAs hinh anh 1A garment factory (Photo: VNA)

Gold opportunities as well as simultaneous tremendous challenges will be brought to Vietnamese businesses when free trade agreements (FTAs), including the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) agreement come into effect, heard a conference in the Mekong Delta city of Can Tho on July 29.

Both foreign and domestic economic experts said that Mekong Delta enterprises need to proactively assess the impacts of free trade deals to minimise risks while stepping up competitive capacities.

They also agreed that in addition to changes in enterprise management style, it is crucial for local businesses to renew production technologies, expand investment and make the best of e-commerce.

According to PhD Vo Hung Dung, Director of the Can Tho Branch of the Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI), the establishment of the ASEAN Economic Community at the end of this year as well as free trade deals will bring development opportunities for Mekong Delta enterprises.

Agriculture and aquaculture are Mekong Delta region strengths, creating favourable conditions for local enterprises to purchase raw materials at low costs while limiting the dependence on foreign material sources, Dung said.

He added that thanks to modern equipment, agriculture and aquaculture processing for export in the region has seen stellar achievements.

However, low competitive capacity of the region’s localities, limited capital for investment expansion and lack of high-skill workers remain barriers to regional economic development, experts said.

Economic activities are also hampered by inefficient credit policies in the Mekong Delta region, as they are unable to stimulate enterprise production. Inadequate business preparations for global integration is also seen as a challenge to boosting the economy.-VNA