EVFTA helps offset economic downturn caused by pandemic: experts | Business

Workers handle garments for export to the EU at a factory in Thai Nguyen province (Photo: VNA)

Hanoi (VNA) – The implementation of the EU-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA) has contributed greatly to offset the slowdown in the economy caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, experts said at a workshop in Hanoi on Feb. 25.

Nguyen Thi Thu Trang, Director of the Center for WTO and International Trade at the Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI), said that since the entry into force of the EVFTA on August 1, 2020, trade between Vietnam and the EU has recorded impressive growth.

Despite numerous difficulties triggered by the pandemic, Vietnam’s exports to the EU still reached $40.06 billion and imports $16.89 billion last year, up 14.1 percent and 15 percent respectively. .3% compared to 2020.

After more than a year of implementing the EVFTA, more companies have taken advantage of and used the preferential rates under this agreement. From its effective date to the end of 2020, the EUR.1 certificate of origin was used for $2.35 billion in exports, while 15.1% of shipments to the EU benefited preferential rates. The respective figures stood at $5.15 billion and 22.5% in the first seven months of 2021, Trang noted.

Dr Le Dang Doanh, an economic expert, described the EVFTA signing as a demonstration of Vietnam’s success in diversifying its foreign economic relations to avoid overreliance on a single market or single source of supply and reduce risks to the economy.

The Vietnamese and European economies are complementary, so the implementation of the EVFTA benefits both sides, he said, noting that Vietnam can import the products it is unable to manufacture. from the EU, which in turn can import the products that Vietnam has the strength of such as clothing and agricultural products.

The agreement also helps facilitate institutional reform in Vietnam, he added.

Trade experts felt that amid the adverse effects of the pandemic on all trade and investment activities around the world, including Vietnam, the application of the EVFTA is of great importance as it helps offset a slowing economy, diversify market opportunities and build momentum for post-pandemic growth.

It is also a chance for companies to engage in new supply chains replacing traditional ones which are currently interrupted or stagnant due to COVID-19[female[femininethey added.

However, they also pointed out that due to limited capacity, Vietnamese companies still face some problems in using the preferential tariffs.

To better seize opportunities, Mr. Trang stressed the need to improve the capacity of domestic enterprises, recommending companies to be more proactive in all business activities.

In addition, the authorities must also provide the necessary assistance in terms of market information, trade promotion and improvement of the business climate, she added./.


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