Deputy Prime Minister Vuong Dinh Hue speaks at the meeting (Source: VNA)

Speaking at the first meeting of the Inter-sectoral Steering Committee for International Economic Integration for 2018 in Hanoi on January 11th, the Deputy PM asked the committee to coordinate with the Ministry of Industry and Trade, other ministries and sectors in effectively tapping signed FTAs, and proposing measures to promote the signing of new pacts.

According to Deputy PM Hue, who is also head of the committee, they need to keep close watch on policy-related changes of partners and response from foreign markets in order to give timely warnings to local businesses.

More efforts should be done to improve Vietnam’s integration capacity, while attention should be paid to outlining trade protection policies, he noted.

He highlighted the carefulness in the negotiation process to ensure the best benefit for the country.

The Deputy PM called for measures to ensure tax collection in the context of the country’s deeper international integration which will cause tariff reduction.

Participants underlined the significance of coordination in negotiating new FTAs and performing ones signed in 2018 - the year they described as an important time for implementing Vietnam’s international economic integration commitments.

Vietnam has so far approved 10 bilateral and multilateral FTAs with regional and international partners. The country basically finished FTA negotiation with the EU. It is promoting negotiations on the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP), the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP), and discussions towards bilateral pacts with Israel and Cuba.

The implementation of FTAs remarkably contributed to pushing the national economic development and expanding export markets, thus helping Vietnam deeply join the global value chain and production network.

It also helped accelerate economic restructuring, improve business climate and competitiveness, and effectively take advantages of investment flows, technology and knowledge, and create more jobs, thus raising management capacity.

Vietnam witnessed fruitful economic development in 2017, with export-import turnover hitting USD425 billion./.