A conference was held in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam recently where experts talked about the export and investment opportunities created by the EU-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA) via sustainable development. “An upturn has been seen in investment from the Netherlands (26 per cent), Sweden (63 per cent), and Denmark (240 per cent). The Lego Group of Denmark has recently invested in a $1 billion project in southern Binh Duong province,” said Vo Tan Thanh, vice chairman of VCCI. “The results have shown the positive contributions of the EVFTA to Vietnam’s economic development, especially in the context that Vietnam has suffered many negative impacts from COVID-19 and the Russia-Ukraine conflict.”
The EVFTA has enabled a rise in exports and investment opportunities for Vietnam with two-way trade between the EU and Vietnam surging to 14.5 per cent in 2021 to $57 billion after two years, according to the Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI). Trade rose even further to $31.7 billion by 14.6 per cent year-on-year in the first half of 2022.
Thanh also noted that Vietnam has not yet optimised certain aspects of the EVFTA which include the implementation of environmental protection, sustainable development policies, and social welfare.
Carsten Schittiek, minister counsellor, head of the trade section of the EU delegation to Vietnam, lauded Vietnam’s actions when executing the EVFTA such as integrating and amending several related laws, and eventually creating profits for Vietnam and other EVFTA members.
“Vietnam should create a more simplified economic climate to attract investment from European businesses, with greater attention to policies in sustainable development, green energy, climate change adaptation, and labour rights in accordance with International Labour Organisation (ILO) conventions. By bringing more large investors as well as new knowledge and technical expertise to Vietnam, the deal can help the country to focus on new, higher quality, and cleaner investment to reinforce its global supply chains,” Schittiek added.
“Vietnam has moved closer towards common global standards since the EVFTA took effect two years ago,” said Ingrid Christensen, the director of ILO Vietnam.
Issues regarding responsible business practices and sustainable development along with regulation updates in certain European countries were also examined by experts at the conference.
Fibre2Fashion News Desk (NB)