EVFTA creates export opportunities

08:29 | 08/02/2016 Trade

(VEN) - Minister of Industry and Trade Vu Huy Hoang talked with Vietnam Economic News’ reporter about the diversification of Vietnamese exports and significant results of international economic integration, which would pave the way for domestic businesses to enter a new development period.

EVFTA creates export opportunities

The EVFTA is expected to help increase Vietnamese exports by 4-6 percent annually within the next decade

Vietnam has rapidly persified its export products. Apart from traditional exports such as textiles and garments, crude oil, seafood, Vietnam has become capable of exporting hi-tech products of higher added value such as mobile phones, electronic components, and computers. The rapid persification of exports has contributed to strengthening the Vietnamese economy. What’s your opinion on this?

In terms of export management, the government has provided guidance for authorities concerned to implement suitable measures to persify export markets and increase the range of export products. The export of key products has grown in recent years. The range of products with annual export value reaching or exceeding US$1 billion has increased year after year, accounting for a large percentage of the total export value of the whole country. In 2015, 23 products accounted for about 86 percent of total export value, with mobile phones topping the list (US$30 billion).

The export structure has changed in accordance with the roadmap for implementation of the goods import and export strategy for the 2011-2020 period with an orientation towards 2030. In 2015, processing industry-related products accounted for 79 percent; agricultural products and seafood about 12.7 percent; fuels and minerals about three percent. Clearly, production has also been restructured in the direction of industrialization and modernization.

In recent years, along with maintaining the stable export growth of key products such as textiles and garments, footwear, wood products, machinery, equipment, and spare parts, Vietnam has exported many kinds of hi-tech products such as mobile phones, computers, electronic appliances, and mechanical engineering products. The export value of these products has grown, significantly contributing to increases in the total export value. In 2015, Vietnam exported over US$30 billion worth of telephones and components, a rise of 30 percent compared with 2014, while the export value of computers, electronic products and components reached about US$15.8 billion, up 38 percent, cameras and components about US$3 billion, up 39 percent. These products accounted for about 30 percent of the total export value.

Rapid persification of export products has contributed to promoting sustainable export growth. The industry and trade sector has identified basic orientations for each category of export products. Specifically, the sector will boost the restructuring of agricultural exports to increase the export of deeply-processed products with high technological content. Decisive measures will be taken to improve the quality of export products. The export of raw minerals will be reduced to make a gradual shift to exporting processed minerals. Support industries will be promoted in an effort to increase the local content of key export products such as textiles, garments, leather, and footwear in order to enhance their added value and make the most of opportunities presented by FTAs.

Unlike many other FTAs between developing and developed economies, the EVFTA is a relatively comprehensive agreement with great potential. “This agreement will help Vietnam further boost economic growth and improve people’s lives in the future. It will also help create a model of trade policies with developing countries,” an economist said. What do you think of this opinion?

I’d undoubtedly say the EVFTA is one of the most comprehensive and high quality FTAs that Vietnam has negotiated so far. It is expected to contribute to boosting the growth of the Vietnamese economy and improving the lives of Vietnamese people in following aspects:

- The EVFTA will help Vietnam expand the market for export products, especially in fields where Vietnam has advantages, contributing to changing the growth model and boosting employment generation. A Multilateral Trade Assistance Project (MUTRAP) study indicated that the EVFTA would help increase Vietnamese exports by 4-6 percent annually within the next decade.

- Vietnamese imports from the EU mostly include machinery, equipment, pharmaceuticals, specialized steel, and basic chemicals, which are used as production inputs. The EVFTA will help maintain stable imports to enhance domestic production in order to implement the strategy of changing the growth model while not creating more competitive pressures to domestic goods.

- The EVFTA will promote high quality investment from the EU into Vietnam, especially in sectors that create high added value such as construction, hi-tech industries, and some service sectors. This will help Vietnam accelerate economic restructuring in positive ways.

- The EVFTA will open opportunities for Vietnam to access modern technologies, improve management and professional skills, create more jobs for workers, helping maintain social security. The strict requirements demanded by the EU market will create a motive for Vietnamese businesses to improve product quality. The agreement will also bring opportunities for Vietnamese people to use high quality goods and services from the EU at more reasonable costs compared with the time prior to the EVFTA.

- The EVFTA will contribute to the improvement of the Vietnamese investment and business environment, boosting domestic and foreign investment, especially in fields that require a high level of knowledge. The agreement will also help Vietnam continue promoting institutional improvements, including institutions for the market economy, and promote management transparency and unbiased behavior in the state apparatus.  

Theo ven.vn