10:41 | 30/09/2015 Cooperation
(VEN) - In the first eight months of this year, Vietnam signed three new free trade agreements (FTAs) with the Republic of Korea (RoK), the Eurasian Economic Union (EEU), and the European Union (EU). These FTAs are expected to help domestic businesses exploit new export markets and provide new sources of capital for their investment projects.
Photo: Can Dung
33 ‘doors’ opened in eight months
On May 5, Minister of Industry and Trade Vu Huy Hoang and RoK Minister of Trade, Industry and Energy Yoon Sang-jick officially signed the Korea-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement (KVFTA). According to this FTA, the RoK will liberalize 97.2 percent of its import value or 95.4 percent of tax lines applied to many kinds of agricultural and seafood products that are key Vietnamese exports such as shrimp, crab, fish, tropical fruit, and industrial products such as textiles and garments, wood and mechanical products.
In late May, Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung and the prime ministers of EEU member countries (Russia, Armenia, Kazakhstan, and Kyrgyzstan) officially signed an FTA between Vietnam and the EEU. This significant event created many export opportunities for Vietnamese agricultural and industrial products. The two sides will gradually eliminate about 90 percent of tax lines to liberalize about 90 percent of the bilateral trade value. Vietnamese exports to the EEU are expected to grow 18-20 percent annually thanks to this FTA.
In August, negotiations on the EU-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA) were concluded. As soon as this FTA takes effect, 27 EU member countries will eliminate about 85.6 percent of import tax lines to liberalize 70.3 percent of Vietnamese exports to the EU. The EVFTA will also have a positive impact on European investment flows into Vietnam. Vietnam and the EU have achieved commitments aimed at creating an open investment environment to attract high quality investment flows from the EU and other partners into Vietnam in some areas of technical services such as finance, telecommunications, transportation, and distribution.
Improving internal strength
In a talk with Vietnam Economic News reporters, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Bui Thanh Son said international integration helped Vietnam maintain high economic growth, attract more foreign direct investment, and access modern technologies and advanced management skills. At the same time, international integration also helps Vietnam persify its export markets and economic relations, and have opportunities to participate in setting general rules for global trade.
The World Bank has listed Vietnam among the world’s 35 leading countries in terms of economic growth in recent years. Efforts to boost international integration have significantly contributed to this result, Deputy Minister Bui Thanh Son affirmed.
Deputy Prime Minister Vu Van Ninh said that to promote international integration, Vietnam needed not only to boost cooperation with external partners but also to improve its internal strength.
Three FTAs signed in the first eight months of this year have opened ways for Vietnamese goods to enter 33 major markets, creating opportunities for Vietnamese products to compete with exports from other countries in the region such as China, Indonesia, Malaysia, and Thailand.