To conquer Japan, Vietnam needs to study EPA: minister

Published: 01/10/2008 05:00

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VietNamNet Bridge – Minister of Industry and Trade Vu Huy Hoang talked about the opportunity Vietnam has to export products to Japan with the Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA).

Minister of Industry and Trade Vu Huy Hoang

The Vietnamese and Japanese sides have reached an agreement in principle on the EPA and have scheduled the official signing of the agreement for the end of the year.

If the EPA is signed, at least 86% of Vietnam-made farm and forestry products and 97% of industrial products exported to Japan will enjoy preferential taxes.

The EPA, if signed, will be a historic agreement in the economic relations between Vietnam and Japan. What did the two sides agree upon in negotiations?

In negotiations, the Japanese side asked Vietnam to open its market more widely to Japanese industrial products. In return, the Japanese side will open its market for Vietnamese apparel, seafood and farm produce.

All these things prove to come in line with the trade and investment agreement signed by ASEAN and Japan before. The two sides still have to discuss the concrete tax rates more, but I can say that the import tax rates will not be lower than the rates we set in agreements with China and South Korea.

How about the preferential tax rates on Vietnamese farm produce exported to Japan?

The opportunities for Vietnamese farm produce to enter Japan’s market will be bigger, especially fruits and vegetables, and seafood. Previously, a lot of commodities were not exported to Japan, or they were exported to the country at high tax rates. But when the EPA is signed, more Vietnamese products will enter the market at lower tax rates.

Do you think that when we open our market for Japanese industrial products the deficit in trade with Japan will widen, something that has happened with other bilateral agreements?

This is the issue relevant ministries need to consider thoroughly. We need to take full advantage of the preferential taxes on Vietnamese farm produce, while we need to try to reduce the trade deficit with Japan.

What do you think Vietnamese businesses need to do to fully exploit the Japanese market when the two countries sign the EPA?

After the agreement is signed, slated for the end of the year, enterprises need to study the provisions of the agreement thoroughly. They also need to well understand the import regulations set by Japan, so that their exports will not be refused.

The Ministry of Industry and Trade in cooperation with industries and branches will introduce the provisions of the agreement to businesses in order to help them better understand the agreements and find opportunities.

(Source: TBKTVN)

Update from: http://english.vietnamnet.vn//interviews/2008/10/806638/

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