FTAs demand trade rule awareness

Wednesday, Jun 03, 2015 07:17

Export firms have been urged to actively study the mechanism for self-issuing the certificate of origin (C/O) for goods under free trade agreements (FTAs) to boost exports. — Photo Vietnamplus

HCM CITY (Biz Hub) — The need for businesses to learn the import and export regulations in different markets has only become more important as Viet Nam signs a slew of free trade agreements (FTAs), experts say.

So far, the nation has inked nine FTAs, most recently with the Republic of Korea and the Eurasia Economic Union. Other new-generation FTAs are also under negotiation, including one with the European Union and the Trans-Pacific Partnership treaty with 11 other nations.

FTAs offer a host of opportunities for Viet Nam's economic sectors, especially trading, given many tax and investment incentives, said Nguyen Thi Thu Trang, Director of the WTO Centre at the Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI).

She said at a workshop in HCM City yesterday that the new trade pacts also require the Vietnamese Government to comply strictly with commitments on support policies for domestic industries.

Nguyen Anh Duong of the Central Institute for Economic Management said the FTAs will pose major challenges for local companies. Citing the food processing industry as an example, he noted that partner countries may levy stricter anti-dumping measures, while local firms' struggle to remain competitive amidst several problems including inadequate access to credit.

The country will be required to increase the proportion of foreign ownership of electronics companies as promised in the FTAs, putting more pressure on domestic firms, he said.

Huynh Van Hanh, Vice Chairman of the HCM City Handicraft and Wood Industry Association, said agriculture was more vulnerable to FTA impacts since it uses a majority Vietnamese workforce. Market fluctuations and inclement weather were also risks that the sector faces, he said.

Besides encouraging scientific and technological applications and market expansion, relevant agencies should enhance communication on both advantages and challenges brought about by FTAs, he said.

Tran Huu Huynh, Head of the VCCI's Advisory Committee on International Trade Policies, said companies had been active in FTA negotiations after Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung ordered Vietnamese negotiators to consult organisations, associations and businesses before engaging in FTA talks. — VNS

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