FTAs open new chances for Vietnamese farm produce to access big markets hinh anh 1At the 4th national farmers’ forum (Photo: VNA)

Hanoi (VNA) – Opportunities created by free trade agreements (FTAs) for Vietnamese farm produce to access big markets in the world were explored at the 4th national farmers’ forum in Hanoi on October 11.

Vietnam joined two new-generation FTAs in 2018 and 2019, which were the Comprehensive and Progress Agreement on Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) and the EU-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA).

The two deals are expected to open up great opportunities for Vietnamese farm produce in 37 markets with a combined population of over 1 billion.

Deputy Minister of Industry and Trade Do Thang Hai emphasized the prospect of cooperation with new partners through the CPTPP such as Canada, Chile, Mexico and Peru, thanks to the application of 0 percent tariffs for most key farm exports of Vietnam immediately after the pact took effect or after just three to five years.

The EVFTA also gradually reduce import tariffs on Vietnam’s farm exports to 0 percent over a short course, with 99.7 percent of Vietnam’s agricultural exports eligible for the 0-percent tariff after seven years.

The tariff cut is particularly significant because the EU has been one of the top two export markets of Vietnam for consecutive years with bilateral trade reaching nearly 56 billion USD in 2018, Deputy Minister Hai said.

Vice Chairman of the Vietnam Farmers’ Union Nguyen Xuan Dinh noted that despite many policies to support farmers in production and marketing, the country’s farm products have low added value due to obstacles such as food safety and hygiene.

He expressed the hope that the forum will find solutions to problems facing domestic farm produce export.  

Dinh also voiced his concern that besides opportunities, the FTAs also bring formidable challenges to Vietnam’s agricultural sector.  

Sharing his view, participants discussed obstacles that Vietnam’s agricultural exports face in CPTPP and EVFTA markets. They said technical barriers in food safety and quarantine, managerial level and technological content are preventing Vietnam’s farm products to enter strict markets.

Vietnam exported 30.02 billion USD worth of agro-forestry-fishery products in the first nine months of 2019, a year-on-year rise of 2.7 percent.

Products with export turnover of more than 2 billion USD include wood and timber products, coffee, rice, cashew nut, vegetables and fruit, and shrimp./.