Vietnam, WB experts discuss opportunities, challenges of new-generation FTAs

HANOI, June 15 (Xinhua) — Experts of Vietnam and the World Bank (WB) on Wednesday discussed challenges, opportunities and risks Vietnam faces as the country is joining new free trade agreements (FTAs), including the recently signed Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) and the European Union-Vietnam FTA (EVFTA).

At the workshop “Vietnam: Seizing the Opportunities of the New-Generation FTAs” held in capital Hanoi, Vietnamese Deputy Prime Minister Vuong Dinh Hue said the TPP and EVFTA will create considerable opportunities for Vietnam, but simultaneously present serious challenges for the people, businesses and regulatory bodies.

In order to gain the most benefits and overcome challenges in international competition, the Vietnamese government has taken actions to create new incentives for the economy, including further improving investment climate for both domestic and foreign enterprises, he noted.

According to Victoria Kwakwa, WB Regional Vice President for East Asia and Pacific, Vietnam is now confronted with a big opportunity thanks to these FTAs, in terms of trade, investment, growth and job creation.

Also, both two agreements cover new areas which are either not covered by or going much deeper than the World Trade Organization, such as e-commerce, labor, environment, small and medium-sized enterprises, state-owned enterprises, and regulatory coherence.

However, these FTAs are also accompanied by a number of big challenges and, without careful implementation of commitments, many of the benefits might pass the country by. The WB is committed to helping Vietnam make the most of the next generation of international trade agreements, Kwakwa affirmed.

The workshop was co-held by Vietnam’s Ministry of Industry and Trade and the WB.

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