HCMC actively supports enterprises to welcome opportunities from EVFTA

VCN - The European Union - Vietnam Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA) will open a wider door for HCMC’s goods to access the EU's market of 500 million people. To prepare for EVFTA implementation, the city has implemented a plan to proactively welcome opportunities from this agreement.
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HCMC actively supports enterprises to welcome opportunities from EVFTA
HCMC is ready to welcome opportunities from EVFTA

Many opportunities

At the online conference "Deploying the EVFTA implementation plan" of the Government with 63 provinces, cities and leaders of business associations of Vietnam and EU, held on August 6, Deputy Chairman of Ho Chi Minh City People's Committee Duong Anh Duc emphasized that the European Union (EU) wasan investor and traditional trading partner of Ho Chi Minh City.

Over the past 30 years, the EU had 909 projects licensed to invest in the city with a total capital of US$3.17 billion.

Particularly in the first six months of 2020, the EU had 54 projects with newly granted investment registration certificates.

Regarding trade, the EU is the traditional export market of Ho Chi Minh City, is the third largestexport partner, and the second largestimporter of the city. In 2019, the export turnover of Ho Chi Minh City to the EU reached more than US$5 billion, equivalent to 10% of the total export turnover of the city, while the import turnover reached US$3.6 billion. In the first seven months of this year, export turnover is estimated at US$2.7 billion and import turnover is US$1.5 billion.

In terms of commodity structure, import and export products of Ho Chi Minh City and the EU do not confront orcompete directly, the products of the two sides complement each other. Ho Chi Minh City mainly exports textiles, footwear, agricultural products of all kindsto the EU and vice versa, importsmodern production machineryfrom the EU.

Mr. Duong Anh Duc said that Ho Chi Minh City did not passively wait for the EVFTA to take effect. Since the EU announced the adoption of the EVFTA in October 2018, the city had proactively implemented many solutions to support enterprises to embrace opportunities with a focus on understanding the rules of origin, considering this the key factor for enterprises to enjoy preferential tax rates from the agreement.

Proactively welcome opportunities from EVFTA

In addition, the city has implemented many solutions to improve the competitiveness of enterprises, improve production quality in order to deeply exploit the important EU market. At the same time, the city has implemented a supporting industry development program to connect small and medium enterprises in the city to the Asian supply chain and connect with FDI enterprises including thosefrom the EU.

HCMC has identified two potential product groups to export to the EU. Firstly, the agricultural group, notably coffee, pepper, seafood, tropical fruits and vegetables. This group mainly comes from provinces to the city for processingand exporting to the EU.Secondly, industrial products, in addition to textiles, footwear, the city also has export advantages in information technology and digital products and services.

Based on that foundation, Mr. Duc said, Ho Chi Minh City had a plan to implement the EVFTA with specific solutions. First of all, knowing the demand of businesses, the city actively propagated and intensively trainedenterprises on the EVFTA. The experience of the city was not spread out, but must focus on theneeds of enterprises, listen to the enterprises to adjust the content and communication method.

However, according to the Deputy Chairman of Ho Chi Minh City People's Committee Duong Anh Duc, at present, many enterprises did not know and fully understand the EVFTA, so Mr. Duc suggested that the communication work should emphasize the strict requirements of the EU, for enterprises to be aware of self-improvement, to really take advantage of opportunities from the EU market.

To improve quality and service, Ho Chi Minh City will organize training courses on the EVFTA for civil servants in each group, closely following specific work requirements to provide practical support to enterprises. Specifically, the customs officersneed to be trained in the procedures of preferential tax rates; theindustry and trade officials need to have a firm grasp on the promotion and export of agricultural products and information technology products to the EU.

In addition, Ho Chi Minh City also proposed relevant ministries and branches to continue supporting market information for each EU member country so that the city can support trade promotion for nearly 20,000 import-export enterprises in the area.

Ho Chi Minh City determined to promote regional linkages to increase the strengths of each locality. In fact, most of the agricultural products exported to the EU through the Ho Chi Minh City border gate are agricultural products from provinces, and conversely, machinery and equipment imported from the EU are used to equip the provinces. This shows that HCMC plays the role of import-export gateway to the EU market forthe whole southern region.

By Thu Diu/Binh Minh

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