FTAs provide impetus for exports

Despite pandemic-caused difficulties, Viet Nam still posted a trade surplus of 4 billion USD, an impressive achievement partly attributed to free trade agreements (FTAs), especially the new-generation ones.
FTAs provide impetus for exports. (Photo: vneconomy.vn)
Viet Nam posted a trade surplus of 4 billion USD, making use of FTAs. (Photo: vneconomy.vn)

Statistics show that trade turnover hit 668.5 billion USD in 2021, rising 22.6 percent from the previous year. Notably, exports increased 19 percent, helping maintain a trade surplus for the sixth consecutive year, the Cong Thuong (Industry & Trade) newspaper reported.

Shipments to the markets having FTAs with Viet Nam posted growth last year, including China (15 percent), the US (24.2 percent), the EU (14 percent), ASEAN (25.8 percent), the Republic of Korea (15.8 percent), India (21 percent), New Zealand (42.5 percent), and Australia (3.1 percent).

In particular, the new-generation FTAs such as the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP), the EU - Viet Nam FTA (EVFTA), and the UK - Viet Nam FTA (UKVFTA) are being enforced comprehensively and effectively.

After over a year of implementation, the EVFTA has proved its considerable contribution to bilateral trade and Viet Nam’s growth, the newspaper wrote, citing the Ministry of Industry and Trade (MoIT) as saying that last year’s exports to the EU stood at around 40.07 billion USD, up 14 percent.

Likewise, the UKVFTA has helped keep Viet Nam - UK trade uninterrupted amid Brexit. Bilateral trade is approximated 6.6 billion USD, with exports up 15.4 percent and imports 24.1 percent in 2021.

Nguyen Canh Cuong, Minister-Counsellor at Viet Nam’s trade office in the UK and Ireland, said amid the decreased market demand caused by the COVID-19 pandemic and the global shortage of containers, the export achievement by Vietnamese firms could be described as a “miracle” in which the UKVFTA acted as a catalyst.

Thanks to the CPTPP, the country also saw double-digit growth in shipments to Canada (19.5 percent) and Mexico (46.1 percent), with which this is the first time Viet Nam has an FTA. Meanwhile, exports to Peru, a small but potential market, also surged 84.3 percent.

Cuong noted that the UKVFTA has given enterprises in Viet Nam a more competitive edge. If they can sustain partners’ trust, fulfil delivery commitments, and ensure product quality, Vietnamese goods will have an expanding market share in the UK in the time ahead.

An official from the MoIT’s Foreign Trade Agency held that to enhance farm produce’s competitiveness in the EU, businesses should pay more attention to product quality, food safety, technical barriers, rules of origin, and brand development.

In 2022, bilateral and multilateral FTAs, including the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) that took effect on January 1, will continue to give impetus to Viet Nam’s economic growth.

Experts said to go faster and farther, the prerequisites are businesses’ efforts and proactiveness to improve their competitiveness, make innovation, and seize opportunities in the new context, Cong Thuong reported.

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(Source: VNA)