Minister of Industry and Trade Tran Tuan Anh (Photo: VietnamPlus)

 

Hanoi (VNA) – With the signing of the EU-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA) and the EU-Vietnam Investment Protection Agreement (EVIPA), Vietnam’s position in the world arena will improve, according to Minister of Industry and Trade Tran Tuan Anh.

On June 25, 2019, the European Council approved the contents of the EVFTA and the EVIPA, while assigning the European Commission to sign the deal with Vietnam on June 30 in Hanoi.

On the occasion, Minister of Industry and Trade Tran Tuan Anh spoke to the media on the significance of the deal in the Vietnam-EU partnership.

How will the signing of the deals improve Vietnam’s position?

Vietnam has signed 12 bilateral and multilateral FTAs. The country’s integration strategy on the foundation of multilateralisation and diversification of relations has been shaped, reinforced and developed over the years.

The EVFTA is a deal of important significance and role in Vietnam’s integration strategy, as it is a new generation FTA with high requirements and comprehensiveness, for which both the EU and Vietnam made great efforts to conclude negotiations and legal procedures so it could be signed in June.

The EVFTA is different from older deals as it has high demands in terms of market opening.

For example, the EU will remove nearly 100 percent of tariffs on Vietnamese goods in the first seven years of the effectiveness of the agreement.

Comprising 17 chapters and two attached protocols, the EVFTA covers all areas of trade of goods, services, investment and concession on government purchase, trade defence, and incentives for small and medium-sized enterprises, as well as in intellectual property protection.

This means thanks to the incentives partners will give to Vietnam, we will not only increase our import-export revenue with EU countries, but also be able to improve the competitiveness of the economy, especially by forming a new value chain with one of our most important partners.

At the same time, the EU is important partner of Vietnam in technology and investment resources. Therefore, Vietnam sees the Vietnam-EU partnership as fundamental and significant in the development strategy of both sides.

Along with other FTAs like the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement on Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) and the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP), the EVFTA will create breakthrough development and look toward the prosperity, social progress as well as the completion of legal frameworks for our socialist-oriented market economy.

Together with the EVFTA and the EVIPA, the position of Vietnam will be enhanced in the world arena as a country with great contributions and responsibility for the growth of globalisation towards trade facilitation.

I believe the development model and conditions of Vietnam will be part of the positive progress of the globalisation, especially in the current complicated world economic situation with growing unilateralism and protectionism.

Could you explain how the EVFTA and the EVIPA will affect the attraction of investment from Europe?

Both the EVFTA and the EVIPA will be signed on June 30. I think that if they are ratified, the investment environment as well as business and investment conditions for EU investors in Vietnam will be significantly improved. Meanwhile, several major issues related to investment protection and the settlement of investment conflicts will be designed and implemented.

Legal mechanisms and the Government’s management in Vietnam will also improve the domestic investment environment.

Therefore, we believe European investors will be the first to pay attention to the Vietnamese market and make strong investment in Vietnam.

With trade facilitation, European investors can enjoy conditions to develop promising industries in Vietnam, including food processing, high technology, automobile and electronics.

With the EVFTA and other similar deals, investors from the EU will have good conditions to access not only the 100-million-strong Vietnamese market but also the 660-million-strong market of ASEAN and many other partners.

This is a chance for them to exploit the advantages and incentives of trade activities thanks to FTAs that Vietnam is a party to.

Reporters: In your opinion, what sector in Vietnam will benefit the most from the deal?

Minister Tran Tuan Anh: I think the EVFTA will bring high levels of tariff cuts and open markets.

For Vietnam, although the EU has yet to be the leading trade partner and Vietnam’s exports to the market have reached nearly 42 billion USD, the growth of export revenue to the market is high at 17 percent.

Particularly, Vietnam and the EU are supplementary markets, thus potential for export growth as well as economic cooperation between the two sides is great.

Under the conditions for tariff cut and concession for Vietnamese foods, in the first year, more than 85.6 percent of tariffs on Vietnamese goods will be reduced to zero.

Within seven years, almost 100 percent of tariffs will be brought to zero.

With the EVFTA all major Vietnamese goods exported to the EU will enjoy concessions in the EU market right from the first year, including rice, coffee, bean honey, livestock, fruit, and aquatic products.

Promising products with high hope of growth in the market include apparel, wooden furniture, IT products and oil refinery products.-VNA