Russian market offers new opportunities for Vietnamese exporters
- More effort needed to boost exports
According to the Ministry of Industry and Trade (MoIT), Vietnam earned US$53.1 billion from exports in the first six months of 2012, or 48.5 percent of the set target, which is up 22.2 percent compared to the same period last year.
Of the total, the domestic sector accounted for US$20.5 billion (38.6 percent) and the foreign-invested sector US$32.6 billion (61.4 percent).
The average monthly export turnover was estimated at US$8.85 billion, US$1.6 billion higher than the figure recorded in the first half of 2011.
The increase in export turnover was attributed to the growing volume of industrial products and those manufactured by foreign direct investment (FDI) businesses, such as mobile phones, spare parts, computers, and electronic products.
The export figures were considered a promising sign of economic growth in the first six months of this year. However, the MoIT says it requires greater efforts to meet the yearly target in the face of fierce competition during the global economic crisis.
In the first two quarters, agricultural and aquatic exports fell sharply to only US$10.4 billion. Most notably, rubber exports were down 31.6 percent, cassava 16.5 percent, and cashew nuts 10.1 percent.
In the meantime, shrimp exports to Japan, Vietnam’s biggest importer, faced numerous barriers including Japan’s decision to strengthen inspections of the quinoline-based antioxidant food preservative Ethoxyquin in shrimp.
The textile and garment sector, which is Vietnam’s biggest export earner, saw a slight increase of 8.7 percent, much lower than the same period last year.
The MoIT claims that 15 percent of textile and garment businesses did not have enough orders for 2012, as they failed to find new markets.
Truong Dinh Hoe, Secretary General of the Vietnam Association of Seafood Exporters and Producers (VASEP), proposes that the MoIT ask Japanese authorities to increase the limit for Ethoxyquin residue in shrimp products. He also said the MoIT should help shrimp exporters bring an anti-barrier lawsuit to the World Trade Organisation.
The VASEP has asked the MoIT to introduce necessary regulations for tra fish exporters to build their own processing factories and gain a leg up on international competition.
The MoIT plans to carry out national trade promotion programs to reach potential markets such as Hong Kong, the Republic of Korea, Thailand, Malaysia, and Australia.
The ministry will improve its forecasting and ask trade councilors to foreign countries to keep abreast of any changes in policy and import management mechanism, as well as other developments that could be unfavourable for Vietnamese exports to major markets, and report them promptly to State management agencies and businesses.
The MoIT will also work closely with the Ministry of Finance to implement Government Decree No. 75/2011/ND-CP, dated August 30, 2011, on State investment credit and export credit to help exporters get credit loans, while promoting investment credit guarantees for small- and medium-sized businesses.
The two ministries will continue adjusting export taxes and simplifying customs procedures to boost domestic production and export business.