Since the EVTFA was approved, experts have been analysing the opportunities for Vietnam to penetrate deeper into the high-value foreign markets. However, the implementation of the deal also poses many challenges to Vietnamese agricultural products. Besides strict standards from the European Union market, competitive pressure in the domestic market is also a big issue.
Tien Giang province is home to the second largest orchard area in the Mekong Delta region with about 80,000 ha. The province has exported many of its products, such as dragon fruit, mango, and durians, achieving fame for the locality. Notably, most of the exports go to China while exports to markets like the EU remain modest.
Soc Trang also has more than 30,000 ha of orchards. The province has exported more than 100 tons of purple star apples to the US market. The EU market has started buying locality’s pomelo. The province is confident that it can meet the demand of the EU market through the free trade agreement.
Exporters said that farmers have also increased their awareness of the EU’s requirements. For example, their products must meet international standards like GlobalGap. However, some businesses still do not fully understand the importance of these standards.
Besides, competitive pressure will be fiercer in domestic market when agricultural products from EU countries pour into Vietnam.
Like many other free trade agreements, the implementation of the EVFTA will lift tariff barriers but for many countries it will create more difficult technical barriers. The Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development has said the deal will change the entire production and structural processes to create a closed chain for enterprises to participate in the global value chain.