Almost a year since the EU-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA) came into effect on August 1, 2020, bilateral trade relations have gone from strength to strength.
|Minister of Industry and Trade Nguyen Hong Dien. Source: MoIT|
Minister of Industry and Trade Nguyen Hong Dien made the statement while co-chairing the first meeting of the Trade Committee of EVFTA held under the virtual format on July 19 along with Vice President of the European Commission Valdis Dombrovskis, aiming at reviewing the deal’s implementation process as well as issues of common interests related to investment and trade between the two parties.
For the first six months of 2021, Vietnam-EU trade turnover rose by 18.4% year-on-year to US$27.67 billion, in which Vietnam’s exported goods worth $19.4 billion, or an increase of 18.3%, and registered imports of $8.2 billion, up 19.1%.
Vietnam’s key export staples to the EU were phones, computers, electronic products, footwear, garment, vegetables, seafood, rice, and coffee, while the country mainly imported cars and parts, home appliances, cosmetic products, and hygiene products from the EU.
|Minister Dien and Vice President of the European Commission Valdis Dombrovskis at the online meeting.|
Minister Dien added just five months since the EVFTA took effect, Vietnam had recorded strong growth of export turnover of agricultural and forestry products to the EU against the same period of 2019, including rubber products with a surge of 56.91% to $61 million; bamboo and rattan products (33.75% to $70.5 million); vegetables and fruits (12.5%) to $63.8 million.
“Vietnam seeks greater cooperation with the EU in ensuring rights and benefits from the EVFTA for businesses and people from both sides via the effective realization of commitments under the deal,” stated Dien.
“Stronger bilateral trade and investment cooperation would take Vietnam-EU relations to a new height,” he added.
At the meeting, both sides approved decision No.1 of the Trade Committee over the operation mechanism of the organization, while discussing solutions to further open their respective markets and towards sustainable development that is essential to maintain supply chains during the Covid-19 pandemic.
In his official Twitter account, Vice President of the European Commission Valdis Dombrovskis noted there was “strong mutual engagement for full FTA implementation”.
Another key aspect mentioned by both Vietnam and the EU is the necessity to reform the World Trade Organization (WTO) and preparation for WTO’s 12th Ministerial Conference, scheduled to take place from November 30 – December 3 in Geneva, Switzerland.