Vietnam and the European Union (EU) are accelerating the negotiation of a free trade agreement (FTA), but in order to succeed on the German market, domestic producers will need to pay particular attention to the quality of their goods, Deputy Minister of Industry and Trade Tran Tuan Anh said.

Once the Vietnam-EU FTA enters into force, the quality of export products will become the main competition factor, the official said, elaborating that businesses will face strict quality requirements since Germany is a highly selective market.

He urged Vietnamese companies to increase their knowledge on international trade and update their business strategies. They need to be able to provide abundant supplies of products of high quality and competitive prices, while spending adequate resources on building brand names.

According to the ministry’s Agency of Foreign Trade, Germany is currently Vietnam’s largest EU trade partner, with two-way trade growing by 15 percent a year.

Bilateral trade reached 7.69 billion USD in 2013, a year-on-year increase of 18.8 percent, and 6.47 billion USD in the first ten months of 2014, including 4.19 billion USD in Vietnamese exports.

Vietnam predominantly exports electronic products and components; seafood; textile and garment products; and mobile phones and components to Germany.

The ministry’s Europe Market Department reported that Germany spends around 550 billion USD on importing consumer goods every year. The country also acts as a gateway for international products to enter the European market.

Meanwhile, Vietnamese exports to Germany only account for 0.2 percent of the European country’s imports. Therefore, there is still a huge potential for Vietnamese goods to expand their presence in the German market, trade experts said.

A number of bilateral agreements on double taxation avoidance, investment encouragement and protection, and maritime and aviation cooperation have been signed, serving as an important legal framework that facilitates economic and trade ties, they added.-VNA