Signing of free trade documents expected to boost Vietnam’s exports

Xinhua, Hanoi :
The signing of free trade agreements, which are expected to conclude in 2014, will contribute to boosting exports of Vietnamese commodities, said an official of Vietnam’s Ministry of Industry and Trade (MoIT).
Tran Thanh Hai, deputy general director of Import-Export Agency under MoIT said on the website of the ministry Monday that trade cooperation documents including the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), and free trade agreements (FTAs) between Vietnam and the European Union (EU), the European Free Trade Association (EFTA), South Korea, and the Customs Union of Belarus, Kazakhstan and Russia are under negotiation.
The documents to be signed are expected to create great opportunities for Vietnam to penetrate potential export markets, said Hai.
Vietnam is positively pushing up negotiation processes while urging businesses to take advantages of the favorable conditions in tariff cuts to access markets and improve products quality, thus boosting exports, said the official.
Deeply participating in integration and FTAs signing have helped bring back a sharp increase in Vietnam’s trade turnover with its FTA partners, which accounts for nearly 60 percent of total nation’s import-export turnover, according to MoIT.
Vietnam signed a bilateral free trade agreement with Japan in 2008. The country, together with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), already signed six multilateral FTAs including the ASEAN Free Trade Area in 1992, the ASEAN-China Free Trade Area in 2002, the ASEAN-Korea Free Trade Agreement in 2006, the ASEAN- Japan Free Trade Agreement in 2008, the ASEAN-Australia- New Zealand Free Trade Agreement in 2009, and the ASEAN-India Trade in Goods Agreement in 2009.
Bui Huy Son, general director of Asian-Pacific Markets Department under MoIT said in a meeting held in December 2013 on implementation of guidance on FTA participation strategy by 2020, that FTA signing helped expand market and promote Vietnam’s exports. In particular, in 2011 and 2012, Vietnam export and import values with ASEAN increased respectively by 30.7 percent and 27 percent, Japan 39.5 percent and 25 percent, China 52 percent and 17 percent, South Korea 52.5 percent and 18 percent.
Vietnamese Minister of Industry and Trade Vu Huy Hoang recently said the opportunities for Vietnamese exporters to increase their market share will increase enormously as the 12 countries involved in the TPP agreement make up 40 percent of global Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and over 30 percent of the total world export- import revenue.
Meanwhile, Vu Ba Phu Vietnam’s Trade Counselor in Belgium and Luxembourg said on website of Vietnam’s state-run news agency on Monday that once the FTA between Vietnam and EU comes into effect, Vietnamese enterprises would benefit from tariff preferences and fewer trade barriers.