Vietnam should offer additional assistance in reducing costs and simplifying administrative procedures to help domestic firms get more involved in the global value chain and make the most of the European Union (EU)-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA), according to experts, who feel the FTA, though offers several benefits, poses numerous challenges as well.
Experts point out that the substantial reduction in tariff lines due to the EVFTA has benefited enterprises from both sides and has contributed to attracting foreign direct investment (FDI).
Despite this advantage, local firms must strive to enhance their capacity in order to participate in global supply chains through the trade deal, according to Ambassador Giorgio Aliberti, head of the EU Delegation to Vietnam.
Vu Tien Loc, president of the Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI), emphasized that despite the novel coronavirus causing numerous difficulties for Vietnamese exporters, the EVFTA has helped several textile, footwear, and seafood companies sign major export contracts, according to a report in a Vietnamese newspaper.
The country can therefore enjoy numerous advantages in terms of data, information sources, skills and networks by attracting greater FDI from the EU, a move which is expected to help upgrade the country’s infrastructure and human resources, noted Nguyen Thi Thu Trang, director of the WTO Integration Centre under the VCCI.
The average revenue of Vietnamese manufacturing enterprises was only able to reach $2.9 million per year, while businesses are still required to have an annual minimum turnover of $5 million to join the EU market.
Experts have therefore warned that a number of domestic firms remain satisfied with the participation in the lowest part of the value chain and are not willing to make greater investments when joining the global value chain, said Ngo Chung Khanh, deputy director of the multilateral trade policy department.