The Saigon Times Weekly

Vietnam steps up new FTA negotiatio­ns


Vietnamese authoritie­s are expediting negotiatio­ns over new free trade agreements (FTAs) with markets that the country has yet to tap. According to the Center for WTO and Internatio­nal Trade under the Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Vietnam’s trade and investment have benefited from the existing FTAs between Vietnam and partners in Europe and the Americas, such as the Comprehens­ive and Progressiv­e Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnershi­p, the European Union– Vietnam Free Trade Agreement, and the Vietnam-UK Free Trade Agreement.

However, due to the protracted Russia-Ukraine military conflict, global economic uncertaint­ies and inflation leading to a drop in consumptio­n demand in many countries, including Europe and the Americas, Vietnam needs to negotiate new FTAs to boost exports to achieve export growth of 6% and maintain a trade surplus in the coming time.

Vietnam is conducting FTA negotiatio­ns with Israel, and the FTA with this Middle Eastern country is expected to be signed this year, creating opportunit­ies for economic cooperatio­n between Vietnam and the potential Middle East.

At the same time, Vietnam will enhance exports to several niche markets, such as Bangladesh and Pakistan, which will pave the way for shipping goods to India, one of the world’s most populated countries with 1.4 billion people.

Vietnam also plans to conduct FTA talks with countries in Africa with an import market size valued at US$600 billion per year.

The country is trying to diversify export markets to reduce reliance on traditiona­l markets, seeking to tap other potential markets in Northern Europe, Eastern Europe and Latin America.

Vietnam has signed 15 FTAs with many economic blocs and countries worldwide, such as ASEAN, the EU, the Eurasian Economic Union, Chile, South Korea, Japan and the UK.

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