Vietnamese businesses encouraged to maximize EVFTA's opportunities

(VOVWORLD) - The EU-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA) is a passport for Vietnamese businesses to enter to a new potential market. Two months after the deal took effect, Vietnamese enterprises have been enjoying benefits the agreement brought about but they are urged to understand it thoroughly to fully tap the deal’s opportunities.
Vietnamese businesses encouraged to maximize EVFTA's opportunities  - ảnh 1

EVFTA requires businesses to meet the rules on equality among partners. (Photo:

As of mid-October, nearly 24,000 certificates of origin (C/O) have been granted allowing Vietnamese products worth 963 million USD to be exported to 28 EU countries. Vietnamese exporters have also self-certified origins for 660 exporting shipments  worth 2 million USD.

According to the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, Vietnam’s exports of agro-forestry-aquatic products are enjoying great benefits of the deal. Seafood export turnover to the EU increased 10% in August. Prices for Vietnamese rice have improved. The first 126 tons of tax free fragrant rice were exported to the EU in September.

But the EVFTA is still new to most domestic businesses. Nguyen Van Tuyen, Director of the Tien Dat Company which exports timber to the EU, said, “This is a new-generation agreement and all requirements and norms are very strict. Under EVFTA regulations, timber exported to the EU must have certification of origin. That’s a challenge for small and medium-sized enterprises.”

Many domestic businesses agree that they don’t fully understand the EVFTA and other FTAs in general and hope that agencies will clarify the commitments concerning technical norms, certificates of origin, hygiene safety, legal origin of materials, and preferential tariffs and quotas.

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Nguyen Hoai Nam, VASEP Deputy Chairman and Secretary General (Photo:

Nguyen Hoai Nam, Deputy Chairman of the Vietnam Association of Seafood Exporters and Producers (VASEP), said, “We want to be supported by regulations at home regarding what  our Association and other export sectors have recommended concerning, for example, bar codes on export goods. We hope our proposals concerning fees, quarantine, and food safety inspection for import and export will be included in this year's revision plan. Reforms should be made to help the business community.”

Nguyen Thi Thu Trang, Director of the WTO and Economic Integration Center of the Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI), said VCCI will continue to provide detailed instructions on how to realize opportunities created by the trade deal so that businesses can prepare thoroughly. 

“To win a game, an enterprise must be competitive. Improving its competitiveness, its capacity in corporate governance, and its profession in providing quality, goods and services is what every business must do. This, plus the opportunities created by FTAs, will make us successful,” said Trang.

VCCI has compiled a handbook on the EU-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement to help businesses make full use of the agreement. EuroCham and VCCI have jointly established the EU-Vietnam Business Council (EVBC), a cooperation mechanism to help enterprises make the most of the Agreement and strengthen trade and investment cooperation between Vietnam and the EU.