Meeting of Vietnamese trade counsellors aims to boost exports to Europe

Vietnamese trade counsellors and heads of trade offices in Europe met in Geneva on June 14 – 15 to discuss ways to beef up trade and investment promotion with countries in the region and other parts of the world.

Held by the Ministry of Industry and Trade (MoIT), the meeting aimed to enhance coordination among the trade offices and strengthen the delivery of support for Vietnamese enterprises in trade promotion overseas, thus boosting exportation.

In his opening remarks, Minister of Industry and Trade Nguyen Hong Dien highly spoke of the performance of Vietnamese trade offices in Europe, a major market of Vietnam which has become Vietnam’s top priority to expand cooperation in all areas, particularly politics, diplomacy, trade and economy.

Given that the EU-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA), the Vietnam – Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU) FTA and the UK-Vietnam FTA (UKVFTA) have entered into force, it is crucial for the MoIT and trade offices to come up with proper policies and mechanisms to make the most of opportunities brought about by international integration, help Vietnamese firms join global and regional value chains, and develop new ones, he said.

The minister outlined five major tasks for trade offices in the coming time, notably among which are advising the MoIT in foreign markets’ trends and demand; stepping up business matching in the industry sector; seeking new foreign sources of input supply to facilitate domestic production; and attracting foreign investment in manufacturing of inputs, materials and equipment for the development of renewable energy.

Ambassador Le Thi Tuyet Mai, Permanent Representative of Vietnam to the UN, the World Trade Organisation (WTO) and international organisations in Geneva, said global trade is under pressure as a result of uncertainties in the geopolitical situation. This brings both opportunities and challenges for Vietnam as a player in global trade, she noted, adding that it is important for Vietnamese missions overseas to accelerate information exchange and coordination, so as to contribute to trade policy making.

Data shows that, Vietnam’s trade with European countries exceeded US$72.5 billion last year, up 15.2% against 2020. The country enjoyed a trade surplus worth US$28.88 billion with Europe, with exports reaching US$50.7 billion and imports valuing US$21.8 billion, up 14.7% and 16.4%, respectively, year-on-year.