VOV.VN - The EU-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA) is becoming more important than ever, especially when the national vaccination campaign is being launched to bring the COVID-19 pandemic under control and move towards economic recovery.
One year on from its official enforcement, the EVFTA has brought about a range of positive impacts to boost export activities, especially in the context that the national economy is facing a range of difficulties caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
According to data provided by the Ministry of Industry and Trade, two-way trade turnover between Vietnam and the EU reached US$27.67 billion during the first half of the year, marking a rise of 18.4% over the same period from last year. Of the figure, the turnover of Vietnamese exports to the EU hit US$19.4 billion, representing a rise of 18.3%.
Luong Hoang Thai, head of the Multilateral Trade Policy Department under the Ministry of Industry and Trade, stated that the EVFTA offers many opportunities for the country to expand exports, attract greater investment, and become more deeply involved in the global value chain.
Key Vietnamese key products such as footwear, garments and textiles, along with agro-forestry products such as rice and rubber products, still maintain their performance and have made good use of this agreement, he added.
Despite these positives, preferential commitments are not utilised to their full potential as enterprises are not particularly interested in learning about and taking advantage of the various opportunities that the trade deal presents. In addition, publicity activities to promote the agreement have yet to achieve the results as expected.
One of the primary reasons why the utilisation of the EVFTA has not gone as expected is due to the complicated nature of developments regarding the COVID-19 pandemic spreading on a global scale, a factor that has negatively impacted both the world and Vietnamese economy.
Furthermore, the forecasting, attention, and proper assessment of the impact scope of FTA integration, along with the implementation of some agencies and localities, reveals some limitations and are not conducted in a systematic and timely manner.
Alain Cany, president of the European Chamber of Commerce in Vietnam (EuroCham), said that currently, countries around the world are mainly focusing all of their resources on fighting the COVID-19 pandemic. The EVFTA will therefore not be successful without a concerted effort between the Government and the private business community.
Moving forward, the pandemic situation is likely to develop in a prolonged and complicated manner, with social distancing measures still being enforced, thereby seriously reducing the resources of enterprises. This will have an impact on technology innovation, product quality improvement, and labour productivity, therefore making it more difficult to make effective use of EVFTA commitments.
Amid this context, many experts believe that, in order to effectively implement the EVFTA, various ministries, sectors, and localities, as well as businesses, should stay united in the process for the purpose of mutual benefits.
Moreover, it remains necessary to outline a more favourable mechanism for businesses in terms of accessing credit in order to improve their ability to take advantage of the opportunities from FTAs.