The EU-Vietnam free trade agreement (EVFTA) is expected to bring great opportunities for exporters of Vietnam and the Mekong Delta region in particular. However, insiders have advised Vietnamese firms to improve their products’ quality to overcome barriers in the choosy EU market.
Nguyen Phuong Lam, Director of the Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI) in Can Tho city, said that once ratified, the EVFTA will help raise Vietnam’s exports to the EU by 44 percent by 2030.
The deal is hoped to help increase GDP growth by 7.07-7.72 percent in 2029-2033, he said, adding that goods production, food processing and agriculture will be sectors to benefit most.
“In the next five years, agro-fishery exports of Vietnam will increase over 40 percent, and so will major products of the Mekong Delta region. Therefore, local firms should prepare equipment, infrastructure and production capacity to meet market demand,” stated Lam.
He noted that over the years, the EU has been one of the major markets of Vietnamese tra fish with annual revenue reaching about 300 million USD.
According to the Vietnam Pangasius Association, in 2018, the three largest markets of Vietnamese tra fish fillets were China, the US and the EU. In the first months of 2019, the EU surpassed the US to take second position.
Chairman of the association Duong Nghia Quoc said the EVFTA will create big chances for Vietnamese tra fish sector to enter the market.
Along with a zero tax rate, Vietnam will also avoid non-tariff barriers from EU countries, he said.
Quoc said as long as Vietnamese exporters strictly implement its regulations, they will easily enter the market.
Florian Beranek, an expert from the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO), a member of the Eurocham, said the decisive factor for Vietnamese firms to maintain competitiveness after the EVFTA is ratified is the improvement of their products’ position in the domestic market before exporting.