The project "EVFTA Lighthouse" supports Vietnamese SMEs to take advantage of EVFTA

EVFTA - Lighthouse Project

On the afternoon of November 10, at the Office of the European Chamber of Commerce (EuroCham) in District 1, Ho Chi Minh City, the Friedrich Naumann Foundation for Freedom (FNF) Vietnam held a consultation workshop for 04 Mekong Delta enterprises on how to approach the European market and take advantage of the VN-EU Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA).

The consultation is part of the project "EVFTA Lighthouse" conducted by FNF Vietnam with the cooperation of Can Tho Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI Can Tho) and the support from the Chamber of Commerce  (EuroCham), German Business Association (GBA), Polish Chamber of Commerce Promotion and Italian Chamber of Commerce.

From 2020, the Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA) and the upcoming Investment Protection Agreement (EVIPA) has opened a new phase for the relationship between Vietnam and the European Union (EU). At a macro level, the FNF Institute cooperated with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to organize a series of conferences to disseminate information about EVFTA in all provinces by mid-2020. However, in order to bring EVFTA into practice so that Vietnamese businesses can utilize such Free Trade Agreement requires a project like "EVFTA Lighthouse".

The project aims to create effective cooperation between a number of Vietnamese small and medium enterprises and European enterprises, through connecting, introducing, training, equipping knowledge and data on potential customers, etc. These collaborations will act as "beacons" to serve as real examples of the opportunities that businesses have from EVFTA. As of 10 years ago, an example of successful cooperation between Vietnam and Germany, specifically the Duc Viet Sausage Company has motivated other businesses to follow. Today, EVFTA will bring even more opportunities to Vietnamese businesses.

Four Vietnamese enterprises selected to participate in the project are Fresh & Yum, Tay Cat, TVFood and Viet Haus. These representatives are all enterprises in the Mekong Delta and selected by VCCI Can Tho based on strict criteria of size, experience and financial transparency. These enterprises do not have much trading experience with European partners but are looking forward to accessing and expanding their markets to this region.

During the consultation session, these business owners were equipped with information about opportunities and advantages for Vietnamese production and trading enterprises from the EVFTA, knowledge on Cross-cultural Management, opportunities to expand networks in Vietnam and in the EU, information on connective organizations such as EuroCham, a number of Business Associations, potential customers list, experience, preparation of business introduction materials and other specific advice. The enterprises present acknowledge such knowledge to be close to reality, important and necessary to start approaching a demanding and foreign market like Europe.

The project started from the end of August 2020 at VCCI office in Can Tho city. Also within the framework of the project "EVFTA Lighthouse", on October 27-29, businesses were trained on knowledge about tariff and non-tariff barriers in implementing EVFTA, as well as on company strategy formulation and trade promotion program implementation to access the EU market took place in Sa Dec, Dong Thap, Can Tho and HCMC.

Moving forward, the project will continue to conduct capacity building training for businesses and assist in finding potential trading European partners. In 2020, the project is expected to achieve the result of providing successful cooperations for both Vietnamese and European businesses.


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