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EVFTA opens door for businesses to join global value chains

The conclusion of the EU – Vietnam Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA) marked the end of an arduous journey with three years of negotiations and another three years for preparation to reach the signing, according to Chairman of the Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI) Vu Tien Loc.

In an interview granted to the Vietnam News Agency (VNA), Loc said overcoming various difficulties such as internal fluctuations in the EU, including the UK’s exit from the union (Brexit), and some voice of protest, Vietnam and the EU have reached agreement to give birth to the deal, bringing win-win benefits, especially in the context of the complicated global economic developments and the escalating trade tensions between China and the US.

He described the signing of the EVFTA on June 30 as a steady anchor for the cooperative relations between Vietnam and EU members.

The pact brings good chances for Vietnam to access the EU market with over 500 million high-income people, he said, adding that the EU is already the largest export market of Vietnam apart from Asia, making up over 20 percent of the export turnover of Vietnam.

According to Loc, Vietnam and the EU are two supplementary economies without direct competition. Therefore, the completion of the bilateral free trade agreement will open up numerous cooperation opportunities.

The EU is home to the world’s leading economies with numerous global corporations and groups, so Vietnam could enhance trade and investment cooperation between domestic businesses and foreign partners, thus enabling them to participate in global value chains.

Vietnam will also have opportunities to boost exports and attract high quality and environmentally friendly investment flows, Loc said.

He added that the pressure will be heavy but the opportunities will be enormous.

The business leader urged the Government to push ahead with reforms to facilitate business development. The Ministry of Industry and Trade, the Ministry of Planning and Investment and the VCCI should get ready to disseminate information on the trade pact among business associations and enterprises as well as support them in the global integration process.

Businesses themselves should increase competitiveness and promote innovation towards sustainable development, he said.

The VCCI chairman forecast that the EVFTA could help double Vietnam’s exports to EU countries, explaining that European firms want to invest in Vietnam to manufacture products for export back to Europe or other markets.