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Vietnam Keen on More Free Trade Agreements
Source: english.vietnamnet.vn
Source Date: Friday, July 09, 2010
Focus: Electronic and Mobile Government, ICT for MDGs, Internet Governance
Country: Viet Nam
Created: Jul 12, 2010

VietNamNet Bridge - The free trade agreements (FTA) that Vietnam and other ASEAN members have signed with their partners have benefited the country immensely, including an impressive rise in export earnings in the first half of the year.

The remark was made by Phan Van Chinh, Head of the Ministry of Industry and Trade’s Import-Export Department, at the industrial and trade sector’s recent meeting in Hanoi .

In the reviewed period, Vietnam earned 4.2 billion USD from exports enjoying tariff cuts offered by FTAs with other ASEAN member countries and the group’s partners, which accounts for nearly 13 percent of its total export value against 9-10 percent recorded in previous years.

After the ASEAN-China FTA took effect early this year, Vietnam ’s exports to other ASEAN countries rose by 21 percent year on year to 5.3 billion USD, which includes the value of commodities that are not yet eligible for FTA tariff cuts.

As the FTA between ASEAN and the Republic of Korea lifts tariffs on 92 percent of imports from 2010, Vietnam posted a surge of 35 percent in its exports to the country, earning 1.2 billion USD.

According to the Ministry of Industry and Trade, to date, Vietnam has not signed a FTA with any single country.

However, as a member of ASEAN, Vietnam enjoys a number of FTA’s, including the ASEAN Free Trade Agreement (AFTA), the ASEAN-China FTA, the ASEAN-RoK FTA, the ASEAN-Japan Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement, the ASEAN-Australia-New Zealand FTA, and the ASEAN-India FTA.

At present, relevant Vietnamese agencies are negotiating to sign FTAs with several important markets, including the Trans-Pacific Economic Partnership (TPP) Agreement, and an agreement on free trade with Switzerland , Iceland , Liechtenstein and Norway (EFTA).

They are also preparing to start negotiations on the country’s first bilateral FTA, which will be signed with Chile and an FTA with the European Union.

Currently, the National Committee for International Economic Cooperation is completing a national FTA negotiations strategy until 2020 to submit to the Government in July.

This year, Vietnam targets to earn about 8.6 billion USD in exports from FTA zone out of the planned total export earnings of 66-67 billion USD.

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