Vietnamese, Czech businesses advised to effectively utilise EVFTA

Friday, November 12, 2021  10:22

Business executives share their viewpoints at the Vietnam – Czech Republic business roundtable (Photo: VNA)

VOV.VN - Vietnamese and Czech businesses should maximize cooperation opportunities from the European Union-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA) and the pending EU-Vietnam Investment Protection Agreement (EVIPA) to raise the two countries’ trade to new heights. 

The view was shared by economic experts and business executives at a joint Vietnam – Czech Republic business roundtable in Prague on November 10.

Reports presented at the event show despite global supply chain disruptions due to the COVID-19 pandemic, two-way trade turnover between Vietnam and the Czech Republic surged by 22% last year to reach US$1.5 billion. In the first half of 2021 bilateral trade also soared by 28% year on year to US$936 million thanks to benefits from the EVFTA which came into effect in August 2020.

Representatives of numerous Czech businesses spoke highly of prospects ahead for bilateral cooperation in trade and investment, especially in the fields of Vietnam’s strengths, such as farm produce processing , garment and footwear manufacturing. They also showed their keen interest in cooperation in the realm of civil aviation by training Vietnamese pilots and launching additional direct flights between the two countries.

However, Czech businesses raised concerns about several difficulties regarding Vietnam’s investment attraction policies and administrative procedure simplification, as well as the overall quality of Vietnamese export items to the Czech Republic and EU markets.

Though the EVFTA came into effect for more than a year, it has yet to much benefit the two countries’ business communities, they said.

They therefore suggested that both sides strive to strengthen co-ordination to remove obstacles in order to maximise the benefits brought about by the EVFTA and the impending EVIPA.

Vietnamese Ambassador to Czech Republic Thai Xuan Dung welcomed businesses’ proposals, noting that besides policy support, businesses need to diversify patterns and improve product quality if they want to penetrate each other’s markets. 

As European consumers, including those from the Czech Republic prefer environmentally friendly products, Vietnamese businesses should invest in modern production lines to cater to consumer tastes, he said.

The forum was co-hosted by the Vietnamese Embassy and the Czech Management Association (CMA).