The EU is now the country’s second largest export market taking key commodities such as seafood, garments and textiles, footwear, and wood and wooden products.
Opportunities for Vietnam’s exports to the EU market were discussed at a seminar hosted by Vietnam Trade Promotion Agency (VIETRADE) on December 5 in Hanoi with a view to further developing economic and trade ties between Vietnam and nations of the European Union.
The event also ensured Vietnamese businesses are up to date on the latest information regarding the EU market and export opportunities.
According to the Ministry of Industry and Trade, two-way trade turnover between Vietnam and the EU increased 11 fold from US$4.1 billion in 2000 to more than US$45 billion in 2016.
The EU is one of Vietnam’s leading trade partners. As of October 2017, the Southeast Asian nation’s import-export turnover to the EU nearly reached US$42 billion, up 14%.
Under the Vietnam-Europe Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA) commitments, which will take effect next year, 99% of tariff lines will be removed within seven years for the EU and within 10 years for Vietnam.
For the remaining tax lines, both sides will offer each other customs quotas, apply partial reductions or longer tariff removal. At present, import tax has been imposed on 474 commodities from Vietnam while 417 tariff lines for Vietnamese exports to the EU will be abolished under a 15- year roadmap.
Tran Ngoc Quan, deputy head of the EU Market Department under the Ministry of Industry and Trade noted that the EU market has put forth numerous regulations regarding non-tariff barriers in terms of product quality and criteria on food safety and hygiene.
Therefore, Vietnamese businesses need to meet market access requirements, fully grasp commitments of Vietnam and partner countries, change business attitudes, seek cooperation opportunities with foreign partners, engage in the global supply chain, and increase labour productivity by encouraging highly skilled workers.
Every sector must be subject to codes of production, ISO standards for the whole production process and best conditions to preserve the durability of products as the EU requires origin traceability for the whole product life cycle, Quan emphasized.