Nine out of ten European companies want the EU - Vietnam Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA) to be implemented in 2019 or as soon as possible thereafter, according to new research from the European Chamber of Commerce in Vietnam (EuroCham).
EuroCham's latest report called The EVFTA: Perspectives from Vietnam includes the results of a new survey of the chamber’s members, who were asked how the EVFTA will affect their business operations. Over 130 responded and the results were striking.
Almost 80 per cent believe that the EVFTA will have either a significant or moderate impact on their business in the medium term. Meanwhile, over 80 per cent believe that the FTA will make Vietnam more competitive, while 72 per cent said that it will help Vietnam to become a hub for European business in the ASEAN region.
On top of the positive economic benefits, EuroCham members believe that the EVFTA will help to improve a range of social and environmental issues in Vietnam, from knowledge transfer and local workforce advancement to workers’ rights.
For example, a third (33 per cent) of EuroCham members believe that the EVFTA will have a significant impact on improving sustainable development and environmental protection
According to Co-Chairman of EuroCham Nicolas Audier, the EVFTA is a ‘win-win’ for both Europe and Vietnam.
"Our members paint a positive, optimistic picture of the agreement, with 85 per cent anticipating a significant or moderate impact on their business and investment plans in the long-term," said Nicolas Audier.
When EVFTA, a new-generation free trade agreement between EU and Vietnam, is approved, it would become one of the most ambitious and comprehensive investment agreements that have been signed between EU and developing countries.
Experts said that the EVFTA will bring enormous benefits to the investment and trade environment between the EU and Vietnam. Accordingly, Vietnam’s GDP is expected to increase by 0.5 per cent each year, and exports are predicted to rise between four per cent to six per cent annually.
If this trend continues until 2020, Vietnam’s exports to the EU will rise by $2.6 billion, and until 2025, it is estimated that the EVFTA will generate an additional seven to eight per cent of GDP above the current trend growth rate.