PM: EVFTA like an expressway bringing EU, Vietnam closer

Thursday, 2020-08-06 20:51:41
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PM Nguyen Xuan Phuc speaks at the video conference. (Photo: VNA)
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NDO/VNA - Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc chaired a video conference on August 6 regarding the implementation of the EU-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA), during which he described the deal as a broad and modern expressway bringing the EU and Vietnam closer together.

He emphasised that Vietnam has signed 13 free trade agreements (FTAs) but one of the country’s greatest shortcomings is that local businesses have limited awareness about these deals and have failed to take advantage of the opportunities they present.

Many bodies have been slow in preparing relevant legal documents, while overlaps in enforcement guidance are hampering businesses, he noted.

He highlighted the importance of communications on international economic integration in general and FTAs in particular, as well as improvements in human resources.

Noting that the requirement on sustainable development is an important part of the EVFTA, the PM said there are higher standards on increasing economic efficiency and stricter requirements on social responsibility, labour, employment, and environmental protection.

He also recalled the technical assistance offered to Vietnam by President of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen during their phone call on July 29, saying that this represents valuable support for the country.

The Vietnamese Government has adopted a plan of action with five groups of missions and 41 specific tasks for ministries, sectors, localities and the business community, he said, requiring proactive implementation by all concerned parties.

According to a survey conducted by the Ministry of Planning and Investment, in normal circumstances the agreement can help Vietnam’s GDP increase by 3.2% in the first five years, by 5.3% in the next five years, and by up to 7.72% in the subsequent five-year period.

With the EU’s commitment to remove nearly 100% of import tariffs, the EVFTA is expected to help Vietnam’s export turnover to the bloc rise 42% by 2025 and nearly 45% by 2030.

The agreement was signed by both sides on June 30, 2019, and officially came into effect on August 1, 2020.