Export of five key products expected to increase thanks to EU’s tariff cut

According to the Ministry of Industry and Trade, the top five key export products, consisting of aquatic products, vegetables and fruits, wood products, footwear and textiles, will have opportunities to post strong growth thanks to the EU-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement as the EU has pledged to reduce import tariffs for these five export products of Vietnam.
However, the ministry also warned that if Vietnamese enterprises want to grow and expand export market in the EU, they need to strictly comply with regulations by the EU. Particularly, they need to ensure rules of origin when exporting into this market. Rules on origin traceability are also said to be tighter and stricter. If other products disguise as Vietnamese-made ones in order to export to the EU, there will be lots of consequences which might cause Vietnamese products to be imposed high anti-dumping tariffs. Therefore, Vietnamese enterprises should pay attention to rules of origin when exporting to the EU.

Moreover, the EU market also attaches great importance to food hygiene and safety. Export enterprises need to consult and adjust their operations to meet standards and management procedures set by the EU. In addition, regulations on social responsibility and transparency on information about labor and production environment are also considered as mandatory factors for enterprises to be able to export their products into the EU. As for aquatic products, besides these aforesaid notices, firms should completely obey regulations on illegal, unreported, unregulated fishing.

Sharing the same point of view, Mr. Vu Duc Giang, chairman of the Vietnam Textile and Apparel Association, said that in order to deal with the aforesaid technical barriers, since the beginning of last year, the association has helped enterprises to access financial fund to improve their production system to become environmentally friendly, reduce emissions of pollutants and use clean energy instead of fossil energy. However, Vietnamese enterprises have been facing difficulties in gaining initiative in input materials. In fact, more than 60 percent of raw materials for textile, leather, footwear, plastic and food industry are imported. In long term, if this problem is not solved, it will be difficult for enterprises to take advantage of preferential import tariffs when exporting to markets that Vietnam has already signed free trade agreements with.

By Chau Anh – Translated by Thuy Doan

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