Vietnam promotes negotiations of FTA with Mercosur

The Ministry of Industry and Trade (MoIT) is taking measures to promote the negotiations of a free trade agreement (FTA) with the Southern Common Market (Mercosur - including Brazil, Argentina, Uruguay, and Paraguay), which is expected to be a driving force for Vietnam to tap the Latin American market.

In 2022, the South American regional economic bloc posted over 12 billion USD in two-way trade with Vietnam, 9.2% higher than that of the previous year. The Southeast Asian country shipped goods worth 3.3 billion USD to Mercosur and spent 8.7 billion USD on purchasing products from the region, annual rises of 3.4% and 11.6%, respectively.

Mercosur countries are strong in producing and exporting farm produce, animal feeds, industrial materials, and minerals; while Vietnam’s main exports to the bloc are electronic and telecommunication devices, apparel, and footwear. Such a complementary structure of goods without direct competitiveness is a strength of Vietnam in approaching this market.

In addition, the four South American nations have yet to sign any trade agreements with countries whose export structure directly competes with Vietnam. As a result, the access to this market will create a big boost for Vietnamese goods.

According to the ministry’s statistics, trade between Vietnam and the Americas, which houses 35 countries, including Mercosur member nations, stood at 153.9 billion USD last year, an annual growth of 10.7%,

Of the total, Vietnam’s import and export value hit over 128 billion USD and 25.7 billion USD, up 12.2% and 3% year-on-year, respectively, hence a historic trade surplus of more than 102.5 billion USD.

Ta Hoang Linh, Director of the MoIT’s European-American Market Department, said Vietnamese goods can gain a better position in the Americas region and enjoy chances to grow stronger when businesses capitalise on existing FTAs.

In the ministry’s scheme, it is key to optimising the 15 existing FTAs and pushing for the negotiation of new deals, including the one with Mercosur.