EVFTA helps buffer economic downturn impact: The Business Times

Given the COVID-19 epidemic, the EU-Viet Nam Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA), which entered into force in August 2020, has helped to boost two-way trade and buffer the impact of the economic downturn, according to an article posted on October 13 by The Business Times of Singapore.
EVFTA helps buffer economic downturn impact: The Business Times
Illustrative picture. (Photo: Getty Images)

The article quoted the European Chamber of Commerce in Viet Nam as saying that trade between Viet Nam and the EU amounted to 27 billion USD from January to June this year, an increase of 18 percent annually and a remarkable achievement in the midst of a global pandemic.

Last month, the Asian Development Bank (ADB) wrote in a report that it expects Viet Nam's economy to expand 3.8 percent in 2021. Notably, this was a sizable downgrade from April's estimate of a 6.7 percent growth. This, however, still places Viet Nam above the regional average of 3.1 percent.

According to the article, the EVFTA, the second one that the EU has concluded with an ASEAN country after Singapore, is not the only major free trade deal that is driving Viet Nam's growth. In the last few years, a string of FTAs has come into force in Viet Nam, including the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) and the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP).

Officials in Viet Nam said this is part of the country's long-term drive to build a modern and market-oriented economy, and signs show that this strategy is bearing fruit.

The author continued citing a World Bank report, titled Viet Nam: Deepening International Integration and Implementing the EVFTA, as saying "In the case of Viet Nam, the benefits have been clear in terms of high and consistent economic growth and a large reduction in poverty levels".

The article concluded that as the coronavirus pandemic subsides and international borders gradually reopen, Viet Nam is eyeing an even greater wave of trade with the 27-member EU bloc. The ADB's outlook for Viet Nam's economy in 2022 sees it returning close to its pre-COVID growth levels at 6.5 percent.

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(Source: VNA)