EVFTA Agreement: The steel industry seizes the opportunity

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The EU-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA) has just been ratified by the 9th session of the 14th National Assembly. With this Agreement, the steel industry is expected to be one of the beneficiaries when it can expand the export market to Europe.

According to the latest report of the Vietnam Steel Association, steel exports to foreign markets since the beginning of the year have reached more than 815,000 tons with a turnover of 454 million USD. Compared to the same period in 2019, the above export volume increased by 47% in volume and 24% in value.

However, Vietnam currently only exports mainly to Southeast Asian countries, reaching about 494,000 tons, valued at US$263 million, accounting for 60% of the country's total iron and steel exports and accounted for 57.8% of total metal. export quota. Meanwhile, the European market only reached 3,18%.

Although the export data of the steel industry is much better than in 2019, the proportion of exports to the EU alone has decreased by more than half compared to the same period last year.

Mr. Nguyen Van Sua, an expert in the steel sector, said that Vietnam has not yet been able to take advantage and boost exports to the EU. Vietnam still only focuses on a few traditional markets, such as ASEAN, the United States... and the domestic market. Therefore, the opportunity of the Vietnamese steel industry to export to the EU market is very large.

In addition, in the context of competition, the epidemic from the beginning of the year to now in European countries has also caused this region to stagnate, and the export market has narrowed. The trend of trade defense continues to increase, making it very difficult to expand the market.

“Hopefully, when EVFTA officially came into effect, with preferential tariffs, it will be a big market for steel sheet enterprises in particular and Vietnamese enterprises in general to boost exports. The opportunity will be great, but whether businesses can take advantage or not is important," said Mr. Sua.

According to Ms. Pham Quynh Mai, Deputy Director of the Multilateral Trade Policy Department (Ministry of Industry and Trade), although the provisions of the Free Trade Agreements (FTAs) are beneficial for Vietnam, if they do not know how to take advantage However, enterprises still cannot expand their markets and increase export value.

Therefore, businesses themselves need to quickly change their thinking and properly identify their roles in the implementation of the FTA by actively accessing and understanding information and content that the two sides have committed. From there, apply the rules of origin systematically and effectively.

On the other hand, the enterprise itself must also meet the committed standards and techniques; understand the legal framework of the market and technical barriers to be more proactive in exporting.

A representative of Hoa Phat Group said that in the context of integration, enterprises themselves must improve the competitiveness of their own products, through improving quality, reducing costs, or ensuring time and services. product supply service. In this regard, enterprises have also taken measures to improve quality.

Mr. Nguyen Manh Tuan, General Director of Hoa Phat Steel Pipe Company, said that in order to improve product quality, especially to expand the market to the EU, the company maintains application of production control and software; Quality management according to ISO 9001:2015. At the same time, the company will conduct extensive statistical evaluation in three main criteria including: labor productivity, consumption norms and product quality; in which, the control of material consumption, technical improvement to improve quality are the most important goals.

According to the Ministry of Industry and Trade, the EVFTA Agreement will help Vietnam's export turnover to the EU increase by about 20% by 2020; 42.7% in 2025 and 44,37% in 2030 compared to no Agreement. On the macro side, the EVFTA contributes to an increase in Vietnam's GDP at an average rate of 2.18 - 3,25% (in the period of 2019 - 2023); 4.57 – 5,30% (2024 – 2028) and 7.07 – 7,72% (2029 – 2033).

The benefits are obvious, but in order to take advantage of the opportunities opened up as soon as the Agreement comes into effect, many views believe that the preparation, first of all, is the stage of institutional improvement, strong propaganda and capacity building. competition for businesses… should be focused.

To be able to solve challenges and make good use of opportunities from EVFTA, some experts say that at the present time, the important solution is to strengthen research and forecast market trends (trend of supply and demand). and prices, etc.); the trend of applying technical barriers in trade from EU countries to be able to give early warning to all participants in the value chain of export production of Vietnam. This helps exporters prepare to overcome technical barriers.

It is expected that the Government will issue a Plan to implement the EVFTA Agreement right after the National Assembly ratifies the Agreement. A leading representative of the Ministry of Industry and Trade said that one of the contents of this Implementation Plan will focus on increasing the dissemination of the EVFTA Agreement to relevant stakeholders in more innovative forms; establish and strengthen the focal link for the implementation of the EVFTA Agreement at ministries, branches and localities...

Regarding legal and institutional development, it will review the law during the implementation of the EVFTA Agreement, report to the Government on amendments and supplements to legal documents and submit to competent authorities for approval. promulgated in accordance with the roadmap specified in the EVFTA Agreement.

From the perspective of improving competitiveness and developing human resources, the Government has determined to develop support programs, improve competitiveness, and promote technology application for industries, businesses, especially especially small, medium and micro enterprises, farmers, in line with international commitments. At the same time, prepare solutions to respond and support for industries and goods that are directly affected by the implementation of the Agreement; supporting Vietnamese enterprises to participate in production networks, value chains, regional and global supply chains...

Minister of Industry and Trade Tran Tuan Anh emphasized that the Government will also direct ministries, branches and localities, based on these large work groups, to urgently develop implementation plans of their units and localities. as well as strengthen implementation supervision to ensure that Vietnam's implementation is complete, effective and synchronous…

According to Duc Dung

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