He made the comment during a recent teleconference held jointly by Vietrade, the Ministry of Industry and Trade (MoIT)’s European-American Market Department, the Commercial Affair Office in the Netherlands, and the Dutch Association of Sports Product Manufacturers and Wholesalers (FGSH), which was attended by representatives from nearly 50 enterprises in the two countries.
Tai said the Netherlands has become a leading trade partner of Vietnam’s in the EU, with two-way trade steadily rising over recent years.
At a meeting in April 2019, Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc and his Dutch counterpart Mark Rutte agreed to build a comprehensive partnership between the two countries, he explained.
Trade is expected to be fruitful and new opportunities will come from the EU-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA) taking effect in August, he added.
Vietnam’s economy is showing signs of recovering faster than expected thanks to the country’s efforts to contain COVID-19.
This creates the conditions for Vietnamese enterprises, including sportswear enterprises, to ensure stable production and be capable of meeting the diverse needs of the global market in general and the EU in particular.
Tai expressed his hope that there will be more cooperative activities between Vietrade and FGSH in the future, such as co-organising business to business (B2B) connection events and exchanging investment and businesses delegations.
First Secretary of Economic Affairs at the Dutch Embassy in Vietnam, Iwan Rutjens, said that in taking advantage of Dutch expertise and technologies, Vietnam would have the opportunity to diversify its economy and improve the competitiveness of domestic enterprises.
Through the EVFTA, the Netherlands can encourage more Dutch companies to have presence in Vietnam and promote better access for Vietnamese companies in its market, he stressed.
For his part, Director of FGHS Dirk Vinken said the Netherlands is considered a market of potential for Vietnam’s sporting products, as sports and exercise have been largely unchanged in the Netherlands despite COVID-19.
Nguyen Son Tra, deputy head of the WTO and Trade Negotiation Division at MoIT’s Multilateral Trade Policy Department, said the EVFTA is a comprehensive, high-quality agreement and is expected to drive Vietnam’s exports higher.
Meanwhile, Phan Thi Thanh Xuan, Vice Chairwoman and General Secretary of the Vietnam Leather and Footwear Association (Lefaso), said Vietnamese enterprises need to renovate their technologies so they can participate in global production networks and value chains. They must also understand the commitments made by Vietnam and its partner countries to be able to enjoy the benefits brought about by the EVFTA.
They also need to proactively develop and adjust business plans in accordance with market changes, and take measures to improve their competitiveness and seek cooperation opportunities with foreign partners, she added.
Vietnamese enterprises introduced many products used in the sports field at the forum, such as clothing, shoes, and equipment. Dutch businesses also expressed an interest in the sporting goods Vietnam produces.
Vietnamese Commercial Counsellor in the Netherlands Nguyen Hai Tinh said his agency is coordinating with Vietrade and other MoIT agencies to support Vietnamese enterprises to fully tap into the benefits from the EVFTA and make inroads into and effectively develop in the Dutch market in particular and in the EU in general.