VN: Reform needed for EU trade deal

29/01/2016    63

Viet Nam must improve the bidding legal framework to ensure consistence with commitments to the EU – Viet Nam Free Trade Agreement in government procurement, a conference heard.

The Wednesday conference was held by the Viet Nam Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI) to seek contributing ideas in its report to raise recommendations after reviewing the Law on Bidding with regard to EVFTA's commitments on government procurement.

According to the WTO Centre, the EVFTA, which concluded negotiations on December 2, was expected to promote institutional reforms in Viet Nam, including improving the legal framework about government procurement.

Government procurement was stipulated in Viet Nam's bidding legal system, but as of the end of 2015, Viet Nam had not been tied in any international commitments (in effect) which regulated government procurement.

"Reviewing the law on bidding to make it consistent with commitments to EVFTA is essential before the trade deal comes into effect," Nguyen Thi Thu Trang, director of WTO Centre, said.

However, as of Tuesday, the full-text of EVFTA' chapter about government procurement had not been published.

There existed differences between EVFTA's commitments and the Law on Bidding 2014 which came into effect on July 1, 2014. Trang estimated that the non-compliant clauses accounted for two thirds of the commitments to the trade deal about government procurement.

Ngo Minh Hai, vice president of the Club of State-owned enterprises, said that there were gaps in the bidding regulations, which might cause loss, waste and corruption.

Hai said that amendments were needed to prevent conflicts of interests, ensure transparency and a fair playground for businesses.

Experts at the conference agreed that it was a priority now that Viet Nam bidding regulations complied with commitments to the trade deal, from which the country would have to find ways to expand export markets for businesses through government procurements. 

Source: VNS