FTAs pave road for Vietnam’s global integration

08:23 | 16/02/2018 Cooperation

(VEN) - Vietnam is participating in new-generation free trade agreements (FTAs), and promoting its role in regional and global economic cooperation and integration. Its scope of global economic integration is expanding, from trade in goods to trade in services.

ftas pave road for vietnams global integration

Trade liberalization

Vietnam is negotiating, signing and implementing 16 bilateral and multilateral FTAs with 58 partners, reflecting its diversified economic integration since it joined the World Trade Organization (WTO) 11 years ago.

Vietnam has been actively engaged in discussion and cooperation designed to promote trade liberalization within the WTO framework. Together with other WTO partners, Vietnam concluded negotiations on the Trade Facilitation Agreement (TFA) in 2013 and started implementing it in February 2017.

With active participation in the establishment of the ASEAN Community and the discussion of the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC)’s action plans, Vietnam has been implementing AEC commitments since 2008, and has completed 85-95 percent of its undertakings. Vietnam has signed and implemented FTAs with six key regional partners, and has been negotiating the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP).

In addition to ASEAN partners, Vietnam has promoted the signing of bilateral FTAs with Japan, the Republic of Korea and the EU. These FTAs have provided opportunities for Vietnam to expand trade and investment, contributing to ensuring the country’s socioeconomic development.

Vietnam has also joined the signing of multilateral FTAs. The 11 members of the Pacific Rim trade pact abandoned by US President Donald Trump have reached a deal on a revised agreement, expected to be signed by early March. The trade pact is now known as the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP). In addition to the signing of bilateral and multilateral FTAs, Vietnam is a member of international organizations and forums such as the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC), Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM) and World Economic Forum. Its hosting the year-long events of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum in 2017 has given Vietnam an opportunity to promote economic development and attract investment.

ftas pave road for vietnams global integration

Economic growth

FTAs play a crucial role in improving Vietnam’s export turnover, increasing foreign direct investment (FDI), and promoting policy reforms, especially in tax and administrative procedures. FTAs help Vietnam increase competitiveness and minimize dependence on a limited number of markets.

Vietnam’s total export-import turnover set a record of US$420 billion in 2017. During the 21-nation APEC summit in the central city of Da Nang in early November, some 121 agreements were signed for a total value of US$20 billion. In terms of FDI attraction, the Republic of Korea was the largest foreign investor in Vietnam in 2017, followed by Japan. According to statistics compiled by the Ministry of Planning and Investment, total FDI pledges reached US$35.88 billion in 2017, up 44.4 percent compared to 2016. This is the highest increase over the past ten years. FDI disbursement also surpassed the record set in 2016 (US$15.8 billion) to hit US$17.5 billion. Forecasts show that FDI attraction will expand further if additional bilateral and multilateral FTAs are signed.

As of the beginning of 2018, FTAs are being implemented smoothly. At the World Economic Forum’s 48th annual meeting, taking place in Davos, Switzerland on January 23, Deputy Prime Minister Vuong Dinh Hue expressed his desire to sign an agreement between Vietnam and the European Free Trade Association (EFTA) of Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland.

With Vietnam’s determination to build a growth-enabling and action-oriented government to serve people and enterprises, as well as to strengthen international integration, maintain macro-economic stability, reform institutions and legal policies, promote sustainable growth, and improve people’s incomes, the country can achieve even greater success.

The implementation of FTAs has contributed greatly to paving a broader path for Vietnam’s global economic integration. Through commitments included in FTAs, Vietnam’s business and investment environment has been significantly improved.

Ngoc Thao