FTA with EAEU still exposes businesses to challenges

15-Oct-2016 Intellasia | The Saigon Times | 6:00 AM Print This Post

The free trade agreement between Vietnam and the Eurasia Economic Union (EAEU) grouping Russia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Armenia and Kyrgysstan has removed export tariffs but Vietnamese firms still have to face many obstacles to make use of this opportunity.

Speaking at a seminar on speeding up exports to the EAEU organised in HCM City on October 12, Trinh Thi Thu Hien, head of goods origin unit under the Ministry of Industry and Trade, said that the pact has removed 60 percent of export tariffs to the market, including those on products in which Vietnam is strong.

For instance, exporters of apparel products have seen the tariff dropping from 15 percent to 0 percent, leather shoes and handbags from 5-10 percent to zero. The agreement has also lifted the 10 percent tax rate on Vietnamese seafood and 100 percent of tax lines on plastic products, including 97 percent on plastic home appliances.

Despite many opportunities, Vietnamese enterprises are facing numerous difficulties in penetrating the market. According to the ministry, local firms have met with tough competition in terms of price, design, quality and transport against other countries such as China, Thailand and India. Notably, transport from Vietnam to the market is costly and time consuming.

Kazakhstan has suggested the Ministry of Transport consider cooperation to transport goods from Vietnam to Lianyungang Port (China), with its 49 percent stake belonging to a Kazakhstan railway firm. From the port, goods will be transferred to Kazakhstan and EAEU member countries, helping Vietnamese companies cut transport time.



Category: Economy, Vietnam

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