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NEW UPDATES Asean Affairs  2 November 2015  

FTAs to demand higher standards

Vietnamese businesses must pay attention to non-tariff measures included in free trade agreements to be able to grab opportunities for promoting exports, experts said.

A conference on Thursday in central Da Nang City heard that Vietnamese firms were anticipated to encounter tougher technical barriers and rules of origins, especially on agricultural and garment products.

According to Dang Thanh Phuong from the European Trade Policy and Investment Support Project (EU-MUTRAP), exports of many products to major markets have fallen short of their potential due to the use of non-tariff measures of import markets and that Vietnamese products were struggling to meet the requirements.

She pointed to technical specifications as reasons behind the under-performance, because the local criteria were largely under common standards. Many export companies were of the small scale category and had inadequate competencies to fulfil the requirements of foreign importers.

Non-tariff measures asked Vietnamese businesses to enhance product quality, from material selection, processing to packaging and shipping, experts said, urging firms to renovate production technology to capitalise on opportunities for export expansion to strict markets like Japan, Korea and the United States.

Experts also urged quality criteria set by importers to be collected and carefully studied, adding that Vietnamese businesses could seek for information supports from trade consultancy agencies. Regular updates were also needed.

A set of standard technical systems should be developed to promote product quality in line with demand of import markets and enhance added values of products. — VNS

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This year in Thailand-what next?

AseanAffairs   04 January 2011
By David Swartzentruber      

It is commonplace in journalism to write two types of articles at the transition point between the year that has passed and the New Year. As this writer qualifies as an “old hand” in observing Thailand with a track record dating back 14 years, it is time take a shot at what may unfold in Thailand in 2011.

The first issue that can’t be answered is the health of Thailand’s beloved King Bhumibol, who is now 83 years old. He is the world's longest reigning monarch, but elaborate birthday celebrations in December failed to mask concern over his health. More






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