It said the EU-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA) entered into force on August 1, after eight years of negotiations, gradually eliminating up to 99% of all mutual duties.
"This opens up new opportunities for the Czech Republic in the rapidly growing market of almost one hundred million in the attractive region of Southeast Asia. In contrast to current protectionist trends, the agreement can be seen as a positive signal towards open international trade based on rules," Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Industry and Trade Karel Havlíček was quoted as saying.
"According to preliminary estimates, 100 million Czech crowns, an even higher amount will be saved by the removal of non-tariff barriers. The biggest opportunities will open up for Czech companies in the automotive, engineering and electrical engineering industries,” he added.
According to Minister of State for EU and Foreign Trade Martin Tauberová, after the experience of the pandemic, the agreement may also greatly help efforts to diversify supply, which could in the future make it possible to better deal with any similar global crises.
The newly agreed framework has the potential to revive trade between the Czech Republic and Vietnam, which is currently the Czech Republic's 25th largest trading partner in the world.
Vietnam is one of the fastest growing economies in the world, the article said, adding that the country's economy has grown steadily by 6 to 7% a year over the past decade.
In addition, Vietnam has a young, active population, which gives its economy the potential for further rapid prosperity.
Vietnam’s economic situation does not seem to be dramatically affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. Vietnam has not resorted to a blanket curfew, but has targeted measures at specific areas with the disease, keeping the economy going.
According to the World Bank's forecasts, the local economy should grow by up to 4% this year as well. In addition to favourable economic indicators, Czech businesses can also benefit from human capital. Close historical ties between the two countries gave rise to a significant Vietnamese minority in the Czech Republic and a large group of Vietnamese who, thanks to studies in the former Czechoslovakia, still speak Czech after returning to their home country.
The newly agreed trade framework has the potential to develop trade relations between the two countries, the article said.
The Czech Ministry of Industry and Trade affirmed that it is ready to advise entrepreneurs.
EVFTA will also be one of the main topics of the next meeting of the MIT Expert Team on Free Trade Agreements, which will be convened during the autumn. In the following period, the evaluation of the real impacts of EVFTA on the Czech Republic is also planned, according to the article.