It is necessary for Vietnam and the EU to accelerate the negotiations on a bilateral free trade agreement (FTA) as this will be beneficial for all parties concerned, say economic analysts.

At a seminar jointly held by the Vietnamese Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI) and the Dutch Embassy in Hanoi on September 18, economic advisers said that at present, only 42 percent of Vietnamese exports to the EU enjoy a tax rate of zero percent while the figure for Malaysia ranges from 80-85 percent.

If the FTA takes effect, up to 90 percent of Vietnamese enterprises will enjoy a tax rate of zero percent, they added.

Speaking at the seminar, Dr. Doan Duy Khuong, VCCI’s Vice President, noted the active and comprehensive development of the Vietnam-EU relationship.

The EU has become one of Vietnam ’s leading trade partners in various areas, especially development cooperation and trade and investment, said Khuong, adding that the bloc has significantly supported Vietnam during its development and international integration.

However, he also commented on a number of difficulties facing Vietnamese exporters such as the shortage of information as well as anti-dumping taxes imposed on several Vietnamese goods. Vietnam ’s investment in the EU still remains modest, mostly in the Netherlands , the Czech Republic and Germany , said the VCCI leader.

Sharing Khuong’s views, Nguyen Duc Thuong, deputy head of the European Market Department at the Ministry of Industry and Trade, said that despite the global economic turmoil and public debt crisis, two-way trade between Vietnam and the EU had increased by 3.9 percent to over 23 billion USD.

Vietnamese exports to the market reached 16.6 billion USD and imports hit 7.7 billion USD, he said.-VNA