(MPI) - On August 6th, 2020, Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc chaired an online conference with the topic "Performing the Implementation Plan of the EVFTA Agreement". The conference was attended by leaders of 63 provinces and cities at teleconference terminals as well as leaders of business associations of Vietnam and the EU. At the meeting, Minister Nguyen Chi Dzung reported the tasks and solutions to implement the EVFTA Agreement assigned to the Ministry of Planning and Investment.
Panorama of the Conference.Photo: Chinhphu.vn
The conference aimed at discussing a number of major groups of issues related to the communication of international economic integration in general and FTA in particular;solutions to make effective use of commitments;solutions to human resource development, infrastructure development for effective investment, production and business development as well as competition with EU products in the domestic market, etc.
Speaking at the conference, Minister Nguyen Chi Dzung said that, within the framework of the Free Trade Agreement between Vietnam and the European Union, the Ministry of Planning and Investment was assigned to chair the negotiation of a commitment to open investment and Government procurement markets. In addition, the Ministry of Planning and Investment was also assigned to lead the negotiation and submit to the competent authorities for ratification of the Investment Protection Agreement between Vietnam and the EU.
The signing and implementation of these Agreements are an integral part of the overall policy that Vietnam has consistently implemented in the past years to restructure the economy and renew the growth model; toimprove the efficiency of allocation and mobilization of resources for development investment;to promote the private economy and improve the business environment.
In fact, these Agreements together with 67 bilateral investment promotion and protection agreements that Vietnam has signed over the past 30 years have greatly improved Vietnam's investment and business environment. Vietnam’s business environment tends to be more favorable, fairer, safer and more friendly for investors of all economic sectors.
Besides, the implementation of EVFTA and other new generation Free Trade Agreements also poses challenges for Vietnam.In fact, Vietnam's institution, policies, and management mechanisms remain some drawbacks.Infrastructure systems and human resources have not met the requirements of economic development.Vietnam's enterprises' capacity and competitiveness is weak with limited ability to absorb technology. Therefore, they face many difficulties in participating in global value chains.
The opening of markets for goods, services and investment together with commitments to create fair business environment for local and foreign enterprises will create opportunities for foreign investors to gain more access to the Vietnamese market.This puts Vietnamese businesses under greater competitive pressure in the local market.
The implementation of the dispute settlement mechanism under the Agreements with the European Union as well as the new generation of Free Trade Agreements also poses greater challenges in law development, enforcement, and effective prevention and resolution of disputes and problems with investors.In order to effectively implement the EVFTA Agreement, while at the same time maximize the benefits obtained from this Agreement, it is necessary for both the State and enterprises to implement tasks and solutions synchronously.
Minister Nguyen Chi Dzung emphasized that the Ministry of Planning and Investment has developed an action program to implement the Agreement, focusing on 04 groups of tasks and solutions.First is to increase communication and dissemination of information about the EVFTA Agreement and promote investment promotion activities.Activities that will be implemented within the framework of this Solution Group include: Organizing seminars and conferences to propagate and disseminate Vietnam's commitments under the EVFTA Agreement to stakeholders, especially local authorities, investors, consulting organizations, and the business community;Organizing investment promotion programs to raise awareness of foreign investors in general as well as EU investors in particular about Vietnam's commitment to market openness and investment liberalization.The investment promotion program will be implemented on the basis of the tasks and solutions according to Resolution 50 signed by the Politburo on the orientation of perfecting institution and policies, improving the quality and efficiency of foreign investment cooperation towards 2030.
Accordingly, the projects of EU investors will be attracted in a selective and quality way, focusing on areas where the EU has potentials and strengths such as: processing and manufacturing industry that uses high technology, clean energy, and renewable energy, projects with high added value, viral effects, connecting to global production and supply chains.
Second is to continue reviewing and perfecting institution, policies and laws to improve the investment and business environment and ensure the implementation of Vietnam's commitments under the Agreement.The Ministry of Planning and Investment has coordinated with the Ministry of Justice and relevant agencies to review relevant legal documents and propose the development of necessary documents to ensure the implementation of the Agreements signed with the European Union.
The review results show that most of Vietnam's commitments under the FTA Agreement and EVIPA Agreement related to state management of the Ministry of Planning and Investment are basically in accordance with current laws. They can be applied directly without requiring amendments to relevant legal documents.
At the last 9th session, the National Assembly issued Resolution No. 113/2020/QH14 dated June 18th, 2020 on recognition and enforcement of awards of investment dispute settlement agencies under the EVIPA Agreement.In addition, the Ministry of Planning and Investment is preparing to submit to the Government for consideration and issuance of a Decree amending and supplementing the Decree guiding the implementation of the CPTPP Agreement on Government Procurement, which has separate provisions for bidding packages. covered by the EVFTA Agreement.
To maximize the benefits of the EVFTA Agreement and the EVIPA Agreement, the Ministry of Planning and Investment will continue to perform tasks and solutions to improve the legal system on investment and business in the direction of composing and submitting to the Government for promulgation Decrees detailing and guiding the implementation of 03 Laws: Investment Law (amended), Enterprise Law (amended), Law on Public-Private Partnership (PPP) Investment, which have been passed by the National Assembly at the 9th session on schedule, ensuring the quality for these Laws to be fully implemented from January 1st, 2020.The Ministry will continue to review legal documents related to investment and business and propose perfecting plans to ensure the consistency and transparency of the legal system.
The plans also aim at simplifying and clarifying market entry conditions for enterprises, including foreign-invested enterprises, through the reduction of general business investment conditions and market access of foreign investors in particular; formulating and submitting to competent authorities for approval programs and plans to implement the Resolution of the National Assembly on the approval of the Vietnam - EU Investment Protection Agreement;Resolution of the National Assembly on the recognition and enforcement of awards of the dispute settlement agencies under the Vietnam - EU Investment Protection Agreement.
Third is to push up the implementation of solutions to improve the competitiveness of the economy and businesses.This is one of the most important measures to determine the success of the Agreement implementation.Therefore, the Ministry of Planning and Investment will continue to implement the tasks and solutions to improve the business environment and enhance national competitiveness according to Resolution 02 issued by the Government;Resolution No. 35/NQ-CP issued by the Government on business support and development;Resolution No. 68/NQ-CP issued by the Government on the Program to reduce and simplify procedures related to business activities in the period 2020-2025.
In order to support and enhance the competitiveness of Vietnamese enterprises, the Ministry has submitted to the Prime Minister for approval the National Program to support SMEs starting, creating, and joining industry clusters and value chains in the period of 2021-2025, and promptly put into operation the National Innovation Center with a full range of outstanding technical and institutional skills to support small and start-up and innovative SMEs.In addition, the Ministry is developing policies to encourage and support businesses to implement the digital transformation program.
Fourth is to develop and perfect a mechanism to control and prevent disputes between the State and investors in the direction of improving the transparency and efficiency of law enforcement and supervision in order to limit disputes incurred with foreign investors;to effectively implement post-investment support, quickly and promptly settling investors’ difficulties and problems to avoid disputes between investors and state agencies; toimprove efficiency of dispute resolution activities in arbitration, courts and enforcement of arbitral awards;to strengthen enforcement monitoring at the grassroots level to ensure that progressive policies on improving the business environment are implemented effectively, while continuing to enhance early warning mechanisms to prevent investment disputes.
The EVFTA Agreement will bring great opportunities for trade, investment and economic development in Vietnam, but also pose significant challenges, requiring the Government, ministries, localities, organizations, associations and especially businesses act faster and more drastically, implement the proposed tasks and solutions fully, synchronously and effectively to responsibly implement signed commitments, improve capacity, competitiveness and take full advantage of economic opportunities brought by the EVFTA Agreement.
According to the research report assessing the impact of EVFTA and IPA on Vietnam prepared by the Ministry of Planning and Investment submitted to the Government, two-way trade and investment from the EU into Vietnam are expected to grow at a good rate, positively contributing to economic growth, creating jobs for workers.State budget revenue can be improved and increased in the medium and long term.In addition to its common impacts on different aspects of the economy, the Agreement has different impacts on industries due to different levels of openness, competitive advantages and capacity of each sector.In addition, the indirect impact through the pressure of institutional reform also brings positive effects to the economy./.
Ministry of Planning and Investment