On the 6th of August 2020 in Hanoi, Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc presided over a video conference on the action plan to implement the EU-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA) which took effect on the 1st of August. Attendants to the event included the Deputy Prime Minister, Foreign Minister, several Cabinet Ministers and leaders of all 63 provinces and cities, as well as Vietnamese business associations’ leaders, and heads of diplomatic missions from EU member states.
Delegates at the video conference discussed a wide range of major issues related to the EVFTA, including: communication of international economic integration in general and the FTA in particular, solutions to effectively take advantage of the agreement’s commitments, human resource and infrastructure development, and finding solutions for efficient investment.
(Source: Vietnam Government Portal)
Speaking at the conference, Minister of Industry and Trade, H.E. Tran Tuan Anh, stressed that in order to help businesses take full advantage of the opportunities that EVFTA brings, it is necessary to remove barriers to manufacturing and business activities of enterprises through administrative reforms, policies with the motto of creating the most favorable conditions for businesses, promoting transparency and fairness, without discrimination between economic sectors.
It is worth noting that the EU has an auxiliary import and export structure for Vietnam and, therefore, does not directly compete with domestic goods. Therefore, the goods that the EU has advantages when imported into the Vietnamese market, such as machinery, equipment, etc., will help support the domestic industry to reduce costs and improve production capacity.
At the meeting, other business associations’ representatives in various fields, including textile and garment, leather and footwear, seafood, and e-commerce also shared their insights and issues of each sector and provided recommendations for the Government to address them and reap the full benefits of the EVFTA. Meanwhile, Dr. Vu Tien Loc, Chairman of VCCI stated that integration in general and the EVFTA in particular can only be successful if the small and medium-sized enterprises become the main actors and benefit from this process. Dr. Loc suggested that enterprises consider changing business models, upgrading governance system towards global standards in terms of not only technology but also human resources in order to ensure sustainable development. The VCCI Chairman also reiterated that, in light of the EVFTA’s implementation, the EU-Vietnam Business Council launched by VCCI and EuroCham in the coming weeks is expected to provide effective tools to support the business communities of both Vietnam and EU.
Later, the Vice Chairman of the Ho Chi Minh City People’s Committee, Mr. Duong Tan Hien, shared that the city will organize training courses on the EVFTA for officials according to each industry, and closely update specific job requirements to provide practical support to businesses. Recently, on the 28th of July, the City’s leaders and EuroCham co-organised a Dialogue to disseminate information about the EVFTA and discuss difficulties and solutions for businesses in terms of the implementation process.