An online workshop on opportunities brought about by the European Union–Vietnam Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA) for industrial enterprises in Germany’s Bayern state was held by the Bavarian Industry Association (VBW) and the Bavarian Metalworking and Electrical Associations (Bayme VBM) on October 28.
Addressing the event, Sam Pieters, a official in charge of trade affairs from the Office of the European Commission in Germany, informed participants of the advantages of EVFTA for companies, including tariff preferences and provisions that make it easier for European companies to enter the Vietnamese market.
Meanwhile, Dr. Frauke Schmitz-Bauerdick, Country Director of Germany Trade and Invest (GTAI) in Vietnam, talked about the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on the Vietnamese economy.
The growth drivers in Vietnam will be public investment in infrastructure and energy, domestic private consumption and supply chain diversification, she said.
Günter Veit, CEO of VEIT, a business from Bayern state that has been operating successfully in Vietnam since 1994, shared his firm’s business experience in Vietnam, and how to look for business partners in the Southeast Asian country.
Participants all agreed that EVFTA is bringing positive effects for businesses in Europe, Germany, Bayern state and Vietnam.
VBW CEO Bertram Brossardt said Vietnam has become an increasingly attractive investment destination for businesses in Bayern state, even though the country is not currently the most important partner of Bayern.
EVFTA will open up new market access opportunities for businesses of both sides, he stressed, adding that with this agreement, Bayern’s businesses will have an opportunity to seek a better position in a developing market like Vietnam.
According to statistics from VBW, Vietnam - a dynamically developing market - currently ranks 39th among the most important trade partners of Bayern state, with trade turnover in 2019 reaching over EUR1.57 billion (US$1.84 billion). Bayern exported to Vietnam goods worth over EUR430 million, mainly machinery, data processing equipment, electronics, and optics, while it spent EUR1.14 billion on importing Vietnamese goods, mostly leather and textile products.