Free trade to bolster VN-France business

Friday, Sep 04, 2015 08:03

Key products exported from Viet Nam included footwear, garments, wood products, handicrafts and seafood products. — Photo thuongmai

HA NOI (Biz Hub) — Trade and investment between Viet Nam and France will benefit from the Viet Nam-EU Free Trade Agreement (VEFTA), thanks to the market that will open up and the cuts in most taxes, according to Nguyen Canh Cuong, Trade Consellor at the Vietnamese Embassy in France.

Cuong said over the past years, the value of Viet Nam's exports to France registered an average annual growth of 5-7 per cent to 2-2.5 billion euros (US$2.26-2.825 billion) a year, while its imports from the European country reached about one billion euros ($1.13 billion).

Viet Nam's exports of cell phones shipped to France added a particularly big component to this figure.

However, most of the key export products garner one to two per cent of France's market, excluding local footwear products that have accounted for 10 per cent of the French market.

Therefore, the market share of Vietnamese traditional export products in France had the potential to expand further once the FTA was signed, Cuong said.

The VEFTA was expected to help reduce many taxes that the EU imposes on Viet Nam's products to zero, leading to improvement in the competitive ability of Vietnamese exports in French markets as well as other EU countries, the official said.

He said France's demand for seafood and agricultural products was big. Exports of such products are expected to increase further in future because Vietnamese seafood products' exports are already as per strict standards when it comes to quality and food safety norms of European markets. However, many good quality Vietnamese products now face a fierce competition from similar products made by several countries enjoying the EU's trade incentives.

For instance, Viet Nam is the world's second largest rice exporter, but its rice cannot compete with Thai rice in terms of price in France as taxes imposed on Thai rice are much lower than those levied on Vietnamese rice.

The FTA would create favourable conditions for importing more goods from France as well as other EU countries that Viet Nam's market needs, including beef and apples from France.

Cuong said the VEFTA would provide a good opportunity for Viet Nam to speed up its economic restructuring efficiently, focusing on advantageous products and reducing high production costs. — VNS

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