Published: Thu, 30 July 2020
Ireland should act fast to seize export opportunities under the EU-Vietnam trade deal, which comes into force this weekend (August 1), insists Seán Kelly MEP, a Member of the European Parliament’s Trade Committee and standing Rapporteur for the ASEAN region.
The Ireland South MEP said that trade will be an essential factor in global economic recovery, and in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic and post-Brexit, finding new markets for Irish products will be important. Therefore, “Ireland should focus on getting a firm foothold in the market early to build relationships with suppliers and importers”. It has been shown in the past that businesses who do this tend to be more successful.
“Vietnam is a country of 90 million people, and like Southeast Asia in general, it has a rapidly growing middle class. That will equate to an increase in western living trends which will also mean the adoption of some western food and eating habits which bring with it export opportunities for Irish businesses.
“Many Irish food businesses recognise the opportunity in Vietnam and access to its markets, especially with the elimination of 99 percent of tariffs and non-tariff barriers. Brexit brings many difficulties for our agri-food sector, but with this agreement, it will be much easier for Irish exporters of dairy and livestock food products to develop further infiltration into markets in Southeast Asia”, Kelly explained.
“The Free Trade Agreement with Vietnam is good news for Europe and good news for Ireland – we just need to search out and seize the opportunities it brings.” In his role, MEP Kelly has participated in several high-profile bi-lateral meetings in Vietnam during the negotiations of the deal, including talks with Mr Vu Huy Hoang, Minister of Industry and Trade in Vietnam, Mr Tran Quoc Khanh, Vice-Minister of Industry and Trade and Mr Tran Van Hang, Chairman of the National Assembly Committee for Foreign Affairs in Vietnam.