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Vietnam to grant EU wider access to markets

By Jason Folkmanis (Bloomberg News)

Tuesday, December 14,2004

 

European companies in industries including pharmaceuticals, telecommunications and insurance will get better market access in Vietnam under a pact in which the European Union will drop garment quotas at the end of the year.

 

The EU agreed this month to eliminate quotas on Vietnamese garment shipments to the 25-nation bloc, provided Vietnam extends some commitments contained in a Vietnam-EU agreement in October on the nation's accession to the World Trade Organization. Those commitments had been scheduled to take effect only when Vietnam joined the WTO - at the end of 2005, according to government targets.

 

Vietnam exported about $550 million worth of garments and textiles to the EU in 2003, second only to its shipments to the United States, which are also restricted by quotas. Garments and textiles are Vietnam's second-biggest export after crude oil. In return for the end of quotas, Vietnam will open some industries and expand access to others, the EU's Hanoi office said in a statement.

 

"There's several areas where we would have liked to have seen better results, but under the present circumstances, we're happy," Preben Hjortlund, chairman of the European Chamber of Commerce in Vietnam, said by telephone from Hanoi on Monday. "At least we know what to expect for the next year, and there's some improvement on what we had before."

 

Vietnam will lower tariffs on EU beverages and textiles and improve market access for EU pharmaceutical products, easing restrictions in areas including imports and the ownership structure of manufacturing plants in Vietnam, according to the EU office in Hanoi. European-made scooters will also be imported at preferential rates.

 

"In services, we gained concessions for our current operators in the telecom sector and opened new sectors for EU companies in construction services, computer services, engineering and architectural services," the EU statement said. "Additional licenses will be awarded to EU companies in life insurance and distribution sectors."

 

Some European distributors will be permitted to open new stores in Vietnam. EU companies will be allowed to get licenses in previously closed areas like providing computer reservation system services and in environmental services.

 

The EU will suspend its textile and clothing quotas on Jan. 1. Vietnam's garment and textile exports to the bloc are expected to reach $650 million this year, according to the Vietnam Textile and Apparel Association, keeping the EU in second place on the list of markets for Vietnamese garment exports.

 

European companies in industries including pharmaceuticals, telecommunications and insurance will get better market access in Vietnam under a pact in which the European Union will drop garment quotas at the end of the year.

 

The EU agreed this month to eliminate quotas on Vietnamese garment shipments to the 25-nation bloc, provided Vietnam extends some commitments contained in a Vietnam-EU agreement in October on the nation's accession to the World Trade Organization. Those commitments had been scheduled to take effect only when Vietnam joined the WTO - at the end of 2005, according to government targets.

 

Vietnam exported about $550 million worth of garments and textiles to the EU in 2003, second only to its shipments to the United States, which are also restricted by quotas. Garments and textiles are Vietnam's second-biggest export after crude oil. In return for the end of quotas, Vietnam will open some industries and expand access to others, the EU's Hanoi office said in a statement.

 

"There's several areas where we would have liked to have seen better results, but under the present circumstances, we're happy," Preben Hjortlund, chairman of the European Chamber of Commerce in Vietnam, said by telephone from Hanoi on Monday. "At least we know what to expect for the next year, and there's some improvement on what we had before."

 

Vietnam will lower tariffs on EU beverages and textiles and improve market access for EU pharmaceutical products, easing restrictions in areas including imports and the ownership structure of manufacturing plants in Vietnam, according to the EU office in Hanoi. European-made scooters will also be imported at preferential rates.

 

"In services, we gained concessions for our current operators in the telecom sector and opened new sectors for EU companies in construction services, computer services, engineering and architectural services," the EU statement said. "Additional licenses will be awarded to EU companies in life insurance and distribution sectors."

 

Some European distributors will be permitted to open new stores in Vietnam. EU companies will be allowed to get licenses in previously closed areas like providing computer reservation system services and in environmental services.

 

The EU will suspend its textile and clothing quotas on Jan. 1. Vietnam's garment and textile exports to the bloc are expected to reach $650 million this year, according to the Vietnam Textile and Apparel Association, keeping the EU in second place on the list of markets for Vietnamese garment exports.

 

European companies in industries including pharmaceuticals, telecommunications and insurance will get better market access in Vietnam under a pact in which the European Union will drop garment quotas at the end of the year.

 

The EU agreed this month to eliminate quotas on Vietnamese garment shipments to the 25-nation bloc, provided Vietnam extends some commitments contained in a Vietnam-EU agreement in October on the nation's accession to the World Trade Organization. Those commitments had been scheduled to take effect only when Vietnam joined the WTO - at the end of 2005, according to government targets.

 

Vietnam exported about $550 million worth of garments and textiles to the EU in 2003, second only to its shipments to the United States, which are also restricted by quotas. Garments and textiles are Vietnam's second-biggest export after crude oil. In return for the end of quotas, Vietnam will open some industries and expand access to others, the EU's Hanoi office said in a statement.

 

"There's several areas where we would have liked to have seen better results, but under the present circumstances, we're happy," Preben Hjortlund, chairman of the European Chamber of Commerce in Vietnam, said by telephone from Hanoi on Monday. "At least we know what to expect for the next year, and there's some improvement on what we had before."

 

Vietnam will lower tariffs on EU beverages and textiles and improve market access for EU pharmaceutical products, easing restrictions in areas including imports and the ownership structure of manufacturing plants in Vietnam, according to the EU office in Hanoi. European-made scooters will also be imported at preferential rates.

 

"In services, we gained concessions for our current operators in the telecom sector and opened new sectors for EU companies in construction services, computer services, engineering and architectural services," the EU statement said. "Additional licenses will be awarded to EU companies in life insurance and distribution sectors."

 

Some European distributors will be permitted to open new stores in Vietnam. EU companies will be allowed to get licenses in previously closed areas like providing computer reservation system services and in environmental services.

 

The EU will suspend its textile and clothing quotas on Jan. 1. Vietnam's garment and textile exports to the bloc are expected to reach $650 million this year, according to the Vietnam Textile and Apparel Association, keeping the EU in second place on the list of markets for Vietnamese garment exports.