Update: 15:34 | 19/02/2020
The recent ratification of the European Union-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA) by the European Parliament (EP) is expected to help with the market expansion of Vietnamese farm produce, including fruits and vegetables, in the face of the coronavirus outbreak disease (COVID-19), according to insiders.
China has always been one of the biggest importers of Vietnamese agricultural produce. In 2019, Vietnam exported 3.74 billion USD worth of fruits and vegetables, 65 percent of which went to China.
However, since the Lunar New Year, China has temporarily closed its border gates due to the spread of the acute respiratory disease caused by the novel coronavirus (COVID-19), causing difficulties for Vietnamese exporters.
In that context, the ratification of the EVFTA by the EP on February 12 has significant meaning.
According to Vietnamese Minister of Industry and Trade Tran Tuan Anh, the EU is one of Vietnam’s most important trade partners.
Once the agreement takes effect, the EU will eliminate import duties on almost all tariff lines for Vietnam. This will be an excellent chance for Vietnamese agricultural businesses to boost exports to the market of over 500 million people, he said.
He advised businesses, especially small-and medium-sized firms, to study opportunities and challenges when making inroads into the market, and strive to improve the quality and design of products, and ensure rule of origin, technical standards, and food safety and hygiene.