Measures sought to help SMEs optimise EVFTA hinh anh 1Illustrative image (Photo: VNA)

Hanoi (VNA) -
Vietnamese enterprises, especially small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), should quickly improve product quality and value to consolidate their competitiveness in the European Union market, an online conference on June 5 heard.

The conference was jointly held by the Ministry of Industry and Trade (MoIT) and the Vietnam Association of Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises (VINASME) in a bid to help SMEs optimise the opportunities generated by the EU-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA).

Tran Thanh Hai, Deputy Director of the MoIT’s Import-Export Department, suggested enterprises pay greater attention to food hygiene, corporate social responsibility, and transparency in labour information and product origin.

He also urged them to study the contents of the EVFTA, in particular commitments regarding tariffs and product origin.

SMEs should view the agreement as the first stage in their business activities and competitive pressure as a source of momentum to move forward, Hai emphasised.

Cooperating with market partners would help attract more investment to Vietnam, thus enabling SMEs to join regional and global supply chains more intensively, he added.

The MoIT has rolled out various synchronous solutions in anticipation of the agreement, he said, including a draft action plan that defines the targets and tasks of relevant ministries and agencies in implementation efforts, which has been submitted to the Government for approval.

Signed on June 30, 2019, the EVFTA is now awaiting approval from the Vietnamese National Assembly.

The EU is one of Vietnam’s three largest importers, along with the US and China. Vietnam’s exports to the market last year reached 41.54 billion USD, or 15.7 percent of the country’s total export value.

Vietnam accounts for just 2 percent of the EU market share, however, meaning there is ample room for growth./.