In order to take advantage of the Europe-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA), Vietnamese enterprises should pay more attention to intellectual property rights.
The statement was made by Nguyễn Hoài Nam, chairman of the Vietnamese Entrepreneurs Association in France at a conference held in HCM City on Friday.
Nam said, with the current scale of Vietnamese enterprises, it would require great effort to take advantage of the EVFTA.
In addition to ensuring general requirements of importing countries on food safety, rules of origin and labour protection are met, enterprises should focus on intellectual property in the commitment of agreements. These are commitments on copyright, invention and geographical indication with a higher level of protection than the World Trade Organisation (WTO).
Sharing the story of Phú Quốc fish sauce – a traditional product of Phú Quốc island which is now being sold in the EU or the US with other countries’ origin, Nam reminded enterprises that when building a product and brand development strategy, the first thing to think about should be intellectual property.
“If businesses are ignorant about intellectual property issues, they will be unable to bring products into fastidious markets,” he added.
Another issue highlighted by Nam was that businesses should limit the production and use of products that directly or indirectly affect the environment, such as products with plastic packaging and canned goods, because customers in the EU are particularly concerned about the problem. They are willing to boycott products that may harm the environment or are less environmentally-friendly.
Speaking at the conference, Trần Xuân Trang, head of the ITPC training department, suggested agricultural enterprises that want to bring products into the EU should manufacture processed products because Vietnam does not have a geographical advantage in transporting fresh produce to this market compared to other countries, especially countries in the North African region. Meanwhile, the production of processed agricultural products is being encouraged by the Government to prioritise investment.
According to Trang, businesses need to research and understand current tastes as well as consumption trends of people in European countries to penetrate the market, especially with some countries placing restrictions on the use of sugar in processed agricultural products.
At the event, experts also discussed solutions to create products and services that meet the quality standards of the EU market, especially on food safety, packaging, brand, marketing approach and origin; as well as how to create appropriate business strategies and resources to accurately define the development roadmap of each product and service in the EU market.