Steel is one of the sectors forecast to benefit the most from the agreement.
According to the latest report from the Vietnam Steel Association (VSA), Vietnam has exported over 815,000 tonnes of steel worth US$454 million so far this year, up 47% in volume and 24% in value year-on-year.
However, the country primarily exports to Southeast Asian countries with 494,000 tonnes worth US$263 million this year, accounting for 60% of total export volumes and 57.8% of export turnover.
Though export data for the steel industry is much rosier than in 2019, exports to the EU have fallen by more than half compared to the same period last year.
With tariff preferences to follow when the EVFTA comes into being, the EU will be a major market for Vietnamese steel companies in particular and those in other sectors in general.
Experts said that to fully tap into the opportunities presented by the trade pact, Vietnam needs to pay due regard to improving its institutions and the competitiveness of its businesses, while strengthening market research and supply and demand forecasts.
A representative from the Hoa Phat Group - the largest steel maker in Vietnam - said that in the context of international integration, businesses themselves must improve their product competitiveness by raising quality, reducing prices, and ensuring delivery times are met.
According to the Ministry of Industry and Trade, the EVFTA will help increase Vietnam’s export turnover to the EU by about 20% this year, 42.7% in 2025, and 44.37% in 2030. It will also contribute to increasing the country’s GDP by 2.18 - 3.25% in the 2019-2023 period, 4.57 - 5.30% in 2024-2028, and 7.07 - 7.72% in 2029-2033.