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Vietnam Today

FTAs drive trade and reform

Released at: 16:07, 18/12/2015

FTAs drive trade and reform

Conference on FTAs Vietnam has signed hears of their positive impact.

by Quynh Nguyen

Negotiating and signing free trade agreements (FTAs) creates a host of opportunities for Vietnam to steady its trade balance and be motivated to reform, Deputy Minister of Industry and Trade Tran Quoc Khanh told a conference publicizing information on FTAs Vietnam is party to.

He also pointed out that recently-concluded FTAs have important implications for the country, opening up new opportunities for exports and attracting foreign investment. At the same time the new generation of FTAs, such as the TPP and the EU-Vietnam FTA, also provide it with the means to perfect its market economy.

The new generation agreements will also help to balance the country’s trade. According to Mr. Ha Duy Tung, Deputy Director of the Ministry of Finance’s Department of International Cooperation, Vietnam currently records a trade deficit with countries such as China and South Korea as well as with ASEAN. “Vietnam’s trade with countries and blocs it has an FTA with, however, is in surplus,” Mr. Tung said.

Besides the opportunities, these FTAs also pose significant challenges. “In the first ten months of this year Vietnam exported $19 billion worth of textile products but imported $15 billion of materials,” Mr. Tung said. “The most important thing is that Vietnam needs to attract foreign enterprises to invest in support industries.”

For management agencies there is pressure to change thinking and transparency when creating policies and to enhance interoperability with businesses in order to implement management functions as the country integrates more deeply.

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