Vietnam-EU trade: Higher and higher

09:02 | 17/07/2017 MUTRAP Corner

(VEN) - Trade between Vietnam and the European Union (EU) has maintained its upward trend since the beginning of this year despite difficulties.  

Textiles and garments are key Vietnamese exports to the EU

Data compiled by the Ministry of Industry and Trade show that in the first five months of 2017, Vietnam’s trade with the EU grew 16.2 percent compared with the same period last year (up 4.2 percent in export value and 14 percent in import value). These results should be viewed against the backdrop of numerous difficulties facing the EU market due to political changes.

Major Vietnamese exports to the EU include textiles and garments, footwear, agricultural, forest, aquatic products and computers. Imports from this market include machinery, equipment, tools, pharmaceuticals, milk and milk products.

Germany, England, France, Italy, the Netherlands and Spain are major EU importers of Vietnamese products. Vietnamese exporters hope the EU-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA), which is expected to take effect next year, will help exports to this market grow 50 percent by 2020.

However, according to the Ministry of Industry and Trade, the EU is a market of high-income consumers but it applies strict policies to protect them. Exports to this discerning market have to overcome a number of technical barriers, including strict requirements in terms of quality, food safety and hygiene, and origin traceability.

According to Miriam Garcia Ferrer, First Counselor of the EU Delegation to Vietnam, Vietnamese firms seeking to boost exports to the EU should be aware of tariff preferences offered by the EVFTA, as well as its requirements in terms of rules of origin. In her opinion, through the EVFTA, the EU can help improve the trademark and quality of Vietnamese products.

Experts believe that to penetrate the EU market, Vietnamese businesses should adopt long-term strategies to ensure product quality, and build and develop brands in order to enhance their competitiveness. Exporters need to take advantage of preferences from signed agreements.

Vietnam has successfully grown its share of exports from Southeast Asian countries to the EU. Analysts predict this trend will continue after the EVFTA takes effect in 2018.

Nguyen Huong