Lawmakers applaud after results of the voting on the EVFTA were announced on June 8 (Photo: VNA)
Many business owners in the southern province of Dong Nai, a major industrial hub in Vietnam, have expressed delight at the National Assembly (NA) ratifying the EU-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA) and the Investment Protection Agreement (EVIPA) on June 8.
Nguyen Ngoc Tuan, Director of the Viet A Tax-Accounting-Law Co. Ltd in Bien Hoa city, said the two deals are of critical importance as they reflect Vietnam’s increasing integration into the global economy. They also show that the EU and its members attach importance to and highly value the country’s economic development potential.
Vietnam is one of ASEAN’s two largest exporters to the EU, he went on, noting that the ratification of the agreements will help reduce its export dependence on certain markets and bolster shipments to the EU, especially leather footwear, garments, and agricultural products.
The EVFTA and EVIPA will also help the country press on with improving its business climate to match international practice, he said.
To capitalise on the advantages generated by the two deals, he believed domestic firms should comprehensively study their regulations and commitments while enhancing their own governance to boost competitiveness.
Ministries and other central agencies also need to publicise the EVFTA and EVIPA to help businesses make use of the opportunities and must also amend the legal framework where necessary to ensure the interests of all enterprises, he suggested.
Echoing that view, Dang Tuong Khanh, Director of the Trong Duc Cocoa Company in Dong Nai’s Dinh Quan district, said the agreements will bring about considerable opportunities for Vietnam’s agriculture sector.
He took cocoa as an example, explaining that most of the major processing facilities around the world are currently located in Europe and primarily use materials imported from Africa. The majority of cocoa trees on the continent, however, are quite old and output and quality are on the decline. Given this, European processors are seeking new material suppliers.
Vietnamese cocoa, meanwhile, has been highly valued around the world and he proposed that authorities prepare detailed development strategies to help it enter the European market.
The State needs to pay greater attention to agricultural processing, Khanh added, as Vietnam is home to a number of quality farm products but processing remains weak, which has hampered product competitiveness./.