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“Vietnam will become a commodity distribution center in ASEAN”

This is the view of Mr. Phil Hogan, UE Commissioner for Agriculture and Rural development at the press briefing on 3 November in Hanoi on the occasion of his visit to Vietnam. 

Photo: VGP/Do Huong

From 2 November, Mr. Phil Hogan accompanied by a high-level trade mission including 42 companies from Europe started their business trip to Vietnam. The visit aimed to explore trade and investment opportunities. This visit comes at an opportune time when the European Union and Vietnam concluded the negotiations for the bilateral Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA) and expect to sign soon.

At the press briefing, Mr. Hogan shared, “Vietnam (Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development and Ministry of Industry and Trade) and EU will work in details to implement EVFTA right after it comes into force”.

According to Mr. Hogan, it is crucial to access the two markets. EU enterprises were really expected of Vietnam’s market (currently, about 170 billion EUR imported to EU in such commodities as alcohol, meat, vegetables, etc). Specially, they expected to seek cooperation opportunity in milk production in Vietnam as Vietnam is in great need of importing raw milk.

Mr. Hogan shared, Vietnam Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development would send a business mission to Belgium. After this visit, Vietnamese enterprises would have more opportunities to access European market after enforcement of EVFTA.

“Vietnam will become a commodity distribution center in ASEAN. We highly appreciate potentials of Vietnam and Korea in Asia. We have signed many contracts in Korea and we do hope that Vietnam will be a reliable partner of EU. EU companies are willing to share their experience in modern agricultural cultivation and investment models”, shared Hogan.

In line with cooperation opportunity, this visit by 42 EU companies was a good opportunity for enterprises in agricultural sector to make use of the benefits of EVFTA when many tariff lines are removed to 0% after EVFTA’s enforcement because EU is composed of the countries with advanced technologies and paying special attention to food quality and safety.

“We strongly believe that Vietnamese consumers will be impressed by quality and diversity of our products. EU maintains highest standards in product quality worldwide including high quality products from meat and milk, vegetables and fruits. These products can contribute to strengthening trade activities in Vietnam, accelerating growth rate and creating jobs for Vietnamese people”, said Hogan.

In fact, goods of Vietnam and EU countries will complement each other  without direct competition; hence, EVFTA is expected to boost and promote growth in trade of the two sides including agricultural sector. EU is one of the most important market of Vietnam in terms of agricultural and fishery product export.

According to Mr. Dang Hoang Hai, Director General of Europe Market Department (Ministry of Industry and Trade), in any trade agreement, agricultural produce is the most difficult and complicated because it relates to human well being, and people and labor of both Vietnam and EU.

However, with EVFTA, we reached equilibrium of interests after concluding negotiation towards signing and implementing the agreement in 2018.

Division of International Cooperation (collected and translated)




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