Being aware that it is not easy to take advantage of the Generalised System of Preferences (GSP) mainly due to the certificates of origin of input materials, Vietnamese textile and garment enterprises are trying to take every available opportunity to increase their market shares. A report by the Ministry of Industry and Trade's Vietnam Economic News.

To boost exports to the European Union (EU) market, Executive Director of Garment 10 Corporation Than Duc Viet said although the GSP offers many preferential treatments for Vietnamese textile and garment imports to the EU, it is not an easy opportunity to seize due to obstacles in the rules of origin of input materials.

To deal with this issue and increase market shares in the EU, with consignments in Free On Board (FOB) mode of payment, Garment 10 Corporation actively negotiates with its customers to import materials from regional countries that also enjoy the preferential system like Thailand and Malaysia. As for Original Design Manufacturer (ODM) projects that the company is building, Garment 10 Corporation will focus on expanding the network of suppliers from the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) to take advantage of the GSP.

Those enterprises that have not exported to the EU do not want to miss this opportunity. Director of the Thuy Dat Joint Stock Company Nguyen Van Chau said to take advantage of the GSP, his company had conducted market research for about a year and evaluated its product categories. Now many EU businesses have come to survey and made their orders. The first consignment of the company is scheduled to be exported to the EU in April this year.

Chau also said the company does not worry about its product quality as it has experience in exporting goods to Japan for many years. As for the material origin issue, the company has negotiated with its customers so that it can import materials from countries also enjoying the preferential system like Vietnam.

The Vietnamese textile and garment enterprises are racing against the clock to boost export to the EU. In the first month of 2014, the export revenue of Vietnam’s textile and garment industry to the EU increased by 26.4 percent over the same period last year, of which the export growth rates to some markets have jumped quite sharply like to the Czech Republic up 45.15 percent and England up 17.9 percent.

Enjoying the GSP in the EU market will surely create a big competitive advantage for Vietnam’s textile and garment products, especially when those of China - a big competitor - are imposed the Most Favoured Nation – MFN duties (on average 3.5 percent higher than the GSP). What’s more, as the graduation thresholds of Vietnamese textile and garment products increase to 14.5 percent, there will be more opportunities for exports to this market.

However, Viet also said to benefit from preferential tax treatments, Vietnam’s textile and garment products must meet the requirements about the rules of origin of input materials while being threatened by the graduation thresholds. Especially, once the EU-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA) is signed, the country's garments will no longer benefit from the GSP Plus. Therefore, not only Garment 10 Corporation but also other enterprises in the sector are striving to take advantages of benefits brought by the GSP.

To take full advantage of the GSP, deputy head of the Europe Market Department Tran Ngoc Quan recommended that Vietnamese businesses diversify their markets and avoid dependence on one single market, however big it is. They also need to be cautious in boosting their export to avoid falling into the protection or graduation thresholds in case the EVFTA does not proceed well as expected.-VNA