Tight co-ordination needed to ensure EVFTA benefits

Thursday, Mar 12, 2020 07:51

Luong Hoang Thai, director of the Multilateral Trade Policy Department under the Ministry of Industry and Trade. VNA/VNS Photo Tran Viet

Building an effective trade defence system is increasingly important for Viet Nam. Vietnam News Agency talks to Luong Hoang Thai, director of the Multilateral Trade Policy Department under the Ministry of Industry and Trade, about this issue in light of the EU-Viet Nam Free Trade Agreement.

When the EVFTA takes effect, what difficulties do you think Viet Nam’s will face?

The EVFTA is based on market rules. Basically, the European Union (EU) has recognised Viet Nam as a market economy in trade cases. However, there are some mechanisms in the agreement specify that during the transition period, if Viet Nam’s exports increase rapidly, both sides may be able to apply temporary safeguards.

Viet Nam needs a co-ordinated mechanism for early warnings for businesses so they can take advantage of opportunities but not cause disruption for other markets.

Viet Nam has a relatively good relationship with the EU, so there have been few trade disputes between the two sides. After the free trade agreement takes effect, there are risks that businesses may take advantage of the policy to evade trade remedies which are applied to other countries, because the EU currently applies very few trade remedies for Viet Nam compared to other partners.

When trade between Viet Nam and the EU increases, it will be necessary for the two sides to co-ordinate closely on this issue. Fortunately, the EVFTA has a very tight coordination mechanism between agencies such as customs authorities and administrative agencies.

Viet Nam wants businesses to reap the opportunities provided by the agreement to develop; not for foreign companies to take advantage to evade the EU’s regulations. This is not easy but the agreement has a mechanism to do so. These are the two main areas of co-operation between the two sides in trade defence.

What has the ministry proposed to strengthen trade defence?

The Trade Remedies Authority under the Ministry of Industry and Trade has worked closely with the EU on this issue. They have also taken measures to combat trade fraud and evasion with many markets. Viet Nam needs to focus on the EU market when the agreement comes into force.

At a meeting in early March, Minister of Industry and Trade Tran Tuan Anh directed the relevant agencies, especially the Trade Remedies Authority, to complete proposals on this issue.

The task when the agreement takes effect will be to ensure no fraudulent for goods from other countries are able to bypass Viet Nam to take advantage of the mechanism.

What else needs to be done to raise awareness among industry associations and businesses about the agreement?

The public and businesses have been kept up to date since the deal was agreed. However, we need to promote the dissemination of information.

Minister Tran Tuan anh has also asked units and agencies to use the ministry’s website which was built specifically for the agreement to share information.

Information on the website is provided in a simple way so that businesses can learn and take advantage of the benefits of the agreement immediately, such as the EU’s requirements of proof of origin, and how to fill out the forms.

Documents outlining technical regulations for the EU market can also be found on the website. The ministry will provide more information about the market in the near future. – VNS

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