Vietnamese exporters anticipate new orders from Europe after the EU-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA) takes effect and the COVID-19 pandemic is stamped out.
The EVFTA is expected to become effective in July this year if the Vietnamese National Assembly ratifies it in the May session. At that time, bilateral trade is likely to enjoy improvement.
Trade between Vietnam and the EU usually declines in the first three months of a year as there are many holidays during the period.
This year, a number of firms have also limited exports and imports in the three months to wait for preferential tariffs under the EVFTA, which was ratified by the European Parliament (EP) in February, when the deal comes into force.
Besides, the novel coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 outbreak has also forced most of European firms to suspend imports, suggesting gloomier prospects of bilateral trade growth in the first and second quarters of 2020.
The EU has not issued any bans on imports from Vietnam, but its businesses have reduced imports by themselves as COVID-19-driven travel restrictions have discouraged customers from shopping.
Vietnam’s trade office in the EU recommended Vietnamese exporters ensure production capacity and stockpile goods so that when there are favourable conditions such as the pandemic is over and the EVFTA becomes effective, they will be ready to receive orders from Europe.