Golden opportunities for Vietnam to benefit from EVFTA

(VOVWORLD) - At the 9th session of the 14th National Assembly, law makers adopted resolutions ratifying the EU-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA) and the EU-Vietnam Investment Protection Agreement (EVIPA). These trade deals are considered a golden opportunity for Vietnam to attract foreign direct investment from Europe.

Golden opportunities for Vietnam to benefit from EVFTA - ảnh 1At the dialogue with the European business community in Hanoi in June (Photo: VGP/Hoang Anh)

Vietnam has been successful in containing the COVID-19 pandemic, thanks to the solidarity of the Vietnamese people.

Vietnam now has a dual goal – to control the epidemic and restore the national economy.

The EVFTA and EVIPA will take effect at a time when administrative reforms have created a more open investment environment in Vietnam.

At a dialogue with the European business community in Hanoi last month, EuroCham Chairman Nicolas Audier said that once the EVFTA takes effect in August, it will accelerate Vietnam’s administrative reform streamline business conditions, strengthen the business environment, and modernise the legal framework.

Audier said that while other economies around the world are struggling with problems caused by COVID-19, Vietnam has a golden opportunity to attract foreign direct investment capital from European companies looking for open, business-friendly markets. 

“The EVFTA will have to jump start trade and investment between our two sides. Despite the government handling of this pandemic, its impact on global trade and investment remains unpredictable. Therefore more actions could be required to support local and foreign businesses which will be essential to Vietnam's continual economic growth alongside addressing more immediate issues,” said Audier.

Though Vietnam’s economic growth this year will slow to between 2.7 and 4.9%, many believe Vietnam will be one of just a few countries that will see any growth at all.

Golden opportunities for Vietnam to benefit from EVFTA - ảnh 2 Mai Tien Dung, Minister, Chairman of the Government Office  (Photo: VGP/Hoang Anh)

Mai Tien Dung, Chairman of the Government Office, said that since the beginning of the year, the Government has cut 239 conditional business lines and will implement e-customs procedures compliant with international standards.

Dung, who is also Chairman of the Prime Minister’s Advisory Council for Administrative Procedure Reform, said the Government has issued a decree on adopting e-admin procedures and a resolution on simplifying business regulations until 2025.

He said the streamlining of administrative procedures will make businesses from the EU and other places see Vietnam as a desirable investment destination.                               

“In the next five years, Vietnam will cut regulations and costs 20%. Administrative procedures have been simplified. A one-stop shop mechanism for pubic services has been deployed in 58 of 63 provinces and cities. Public administration centers deal with 95.8% of all administrative procedures. The National Public Service Portal now provides 725 services,” Dung added.

Economist Nguyen Dinh Cung, former director of the Central Institute for Economic Management, said that Vietnam has high expectations that the EVFTA will increase Vietnam’s integration, open up the economy, create opportunities and attract foreign investment in restructuring Vietnam’s markets, products, and production organizations.                          

“Another post-pandemic opportunity comes from investors from the EU and elsewhere shifting their investments and production out of China and restructuring global value chains to reduce dependence on a single market. This is an opportunity for Vietnam to increase investment flows from the EU and the US,” Cung said.