Vietnamese exporters have been advised to make preparations so as to stay ready for orders from Europe when the EU-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA) takes effect and the COVID-19 pandemic is stamped out.
Trade between Vietnam and the EU usually declines in the first three months of a year as there are many holidays during the period.
This year, a number of firms have also limited exports and imports in the three months to wait for preferential tariffs under the EVFTA, which was ratified by the European Parliament (EP) in February, when the deal comes into force.
Besides, the novel coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 outbreak has also forced most of European firms to suspend imports, suggesting gloomier prospects of bilateral trade growth in the first and second quarters of 2020.
The EU has not issued any bans on imports from Vietnam, but its businesses have reduced imports by themselves as COVID-19-driven travel restrictions have discouraged customers from shopping.
The EVFTA is expected to become effective in July this year if the Vietnamese National Assembly ratifies it in the May session. At that time, bilateral trade is likely to enjoy improvement.
Vietnam’s trade office in the EU recommended Vietnamese exporters ensure production capacity and stockpile goods so that when there are favourable conditions such as the pandemic is over and the EVFTA becomes effective, they will be ready to receive orders from Europe.
A representative of a Vietnamese firm that has partners in European countries like Belgium, the Netherlands, Italy, France and Germany said orders from partners have been suspended while the development of new designs and marketing activities of the company have also been halted due to COVID-19.
The representative noted European partners are very interested in textile-garment products of Vietnam, especially when the EVFTA takes effect. It believes that bilateral trading activities will recover soon when the epidemic is pushed back.
To not miss opportunities, textile-garment producers should work to keep existing importers and actively cooperate with European partners in cancelling or aligning orders with the current market. If they can do so, they will more trust from the partners./.
The Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development has targeted no drop in export value of agricultural products this year, even though the sector was hit hard by the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic from the beginning of this year.
The EU-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement and the EU-Vietnam Investment Protection Agreement offer significant business opportunities for European enterprises, German Federal Minister for Economic Affairs and Energy Peter Altmaier said.