There are good prospects for Vietnam-France trade in 2015 once the Vietnam-EU free trade agreement is signed, Trade Counselor at the Vietnamese Embassy Nguyen Canh Tuong said at a recent roundtable on the two countries’ economic ties in Paris.

The two sides are working hard on preparing for the final negotiations round scheduled for March next year.

The official said the agreement will offer preferential tax rates for many commodities, while commitments on investment and intellectual property protection will encourage Vietnamese and EU businesses, including those from France, to intensify trade and investment exchanges.

Participants at the December roundtable agreed that despite positive growth in economic exchange between Vietnam and France, the two countries have yet to fully tap their potential.

Exports from Vietnam to France saw a slight increase in 2014 but French export to Vietnam stagnant due to the domestic crisis and also the fact that French businesses lack a suitable strategy for the Vietnamese market.

According to Manager of Vietnam-France Strategies Company Jean-Phillip Eglinger, France’s small and medium-sized enterprises operating in food, agricultural products, health, pharmaceuticals, and waste treatment have a good chance of success in Vietnam when cooperating with Vietnamese partners as they can support each other to explore and exploit their respective market.

At the same time, he suggested Vietnamese companies improve production and processing capacities to create brand names for their advantageous products as tea, coffee and cashew nuts.

France is now the biggest European provider of Official Development Aid (ODA) to Vietnam and the third biggest in the world.

Vietnam’s economy is forecast to recover strongly in 2015 as its government is taking drastic measures to improve the investment and business climate in order to attract more investment and expand export market.-VNA