Việt Nam firms should take advantage of EVFTA to boost exports to Germany

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Production of footwear products exported to the EU at the Hà Tây Chemical and Textile Co, Ltd. Việt Nam has taken advantages from EVFTA to sharply increase export of many products to Germany. VNA/VNS Photo Trần Việt

HÀ NỘI — Vietnamese enterprises need to take advantage of the European Union-Việt Nam Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA) to increase trade value, according to the Việt Nam Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI).

At the webinar on promoting trade between Việt Nam and Germany through the EVFTA held in Hà Nội on yesterday, Hoàng Quang Phòng, VCCI vice chairman said being a new-generation FTA with high liberalisation, the EVFTA would eliminate most of the tariff barriers and reduce non-tariff barriers between Việt Nam and the EU, including Germany.

Therefore, the bilateral trade between the two countries is expected to see breakthrough growth in the future. Specifically, the agreement will remove 99.2 per of tariff lines for Vietnamese goods exported to Germany after seven years of the deal taking effect. About 98.3 per cent of tariff lines for German products imported to Việt Nam would be eliminated after 10 years of the deal taking effect.

The EVFTA also protects geographical indications for 39 Vietnamese products and 12 German products, helping brand and product value to increase in the markets of the two countries, Phòng said.

In addition, the agreement also includes many other commitments on customs, sanitary and phytosanitary measures, technical barriers, trade remedies, e-commerce, intellectual property and public procurement, to create favourable conditions for Vietnamese and German goods to access their markets.

Việt Nam’s export products have great opportunities from the EVFTA include footwear, garment, seafood, plastic products, fruits, rice, sweetcorn, garlic and mushrooms.

Local enterprises would take advantage to import many German products such as vehicles, electrical machinery and equipment, pharmaceuticals, plastic products, iron and steel, fuels, animal and poultry meat, milk and dairy products, alcohol and beverages.

At the conference, Nguyễn Cẩm Trang, deputy director of the Ministry of Industry and Trade (MoIT)’s Import-Export Department, said in the first year of carrying out the EVFTA, Việt Nam has taken export opportunities to sharply increase many key export products to Germany such as machinery and equipment (up by 83.6 per cent), vehicles and spare parts (71.6 per cent), iron and steel (53.2 per cent), computers and electronics (34 per cent), and seafood (15.5 per cent).

According to VCCI, after 10 years of establishing the Vietnam-Germany strategic partnership (2011 – 2021), the bilateral trade value has increased sharply from $5.6 billion in 2011 to $10 billion in 2020. Of which, exports from Việt Nam to Germany achieved a growth rate of about 11.5 per cent each year.

However, the trade value with Việt Nam has accounted for only 1.83 per cent of Germany’s total trade value, much lower than 24.41 per cent with China, 16.65 per cent with the US and 12.11 per cent with South Korea.

To promote exports to Germany, Vietnamese businesses need to understand the commitments in the EVFTA and know demand and the import and export regulations of this market, said Cẩm Trang from MoIT.

Therefore, the VCCI collaborated with Friedrich-Naumann Institute for Freedom (FNF) in Việt Nam to organise this conference on December 14 providing information on the EVFTA and investment and business opportunities with Germany for local enterprises.

At the same time, VCCI has also compiled a book on using the EVFTA to enhance goods import and export between Việt Nam and the German market and built a website about the German market for local enterprises, said Nguyễn Thị Thu Trang, director of the VCCI’s Center for WTO and Integration.

Also at the conference, Thu Trang introduced specific requirements on import and export procedures of the German market. This is a part of activities on giving support to local enterprises to take advantage of the EVFTA.

Cẩm Trang from the MoIT said “the market information is very important. The MoIT with its network of trade offices in foreign countries has been providing market information and foreign partners to domestic enterprises. They will also support domestic enterprises to connect with foreign partners in trade and investment activities.”

In addition, other MoIT agencies such as the Import-Export Department and the Trade Remedies Authority are also ready to assist the businesses in the production and import and export of goods, and trade lawsuits.

Phạm Hùng Tiến, FNF Việt Nam deputy director, said that Germany has seen many investment and trade opportunities with Việt Nam, including some new fields such as green energy. For many years, German enterprises have developed many wind power projects in Việt Nam.

“In the future, German enterprises will continue to be interested in wind power development projects in Bình Thuận and Ninh Thuận. These are also factors to promote investment and trade activities,” Tiến said.

In addition, the vocational training also offers the prospect of attracting investment from Germany. With more than 20 years of cooperation in vocational training with Việt Nam, German enterprises believe that Việt Nam has a young workforce and they need to improve their skills for many jobs, he said.

According to Tiến, qualified workers would help local enterprises receive new German investment for projects such as the mechanical engineering sector. This will create added value for local products ​​or develop domestic enterprises to become suppliers of German enterprises.

The German enterprises also are looking forward to investment in Việt Nam to transfer technology, improve skills for manufacturing factories, and provide auto components and accessories for German enterprises in Viet Nam.

For trade, Tiến said Vietnamese businesses should enhance participation in fairs held in Germany because German businesses often seek trade partners at these fairs.

In addition, domestic enterprises can directly contact the local chambers of commerce and industry in Germany to find commercial partners. VNS

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