|Garment and textile are among Vietnam's key exports to the Czech Republic. (Photo: VNA)
According to Ta Hoang Linh, director of the Europe-America market department under the Ministry of Industry and Trade, bilateral trade between Vietnam and CZE has been growing at 10 percent a year over several past years. The growth accelerated to about 16 percent in 2018, bringing two-way trade value to 298 million USD.
Of the figure, Vietnam’s exports to the CZE increased by 3.3 percent to nearly 156.5 million USD, while its imports from the CZE surged 32 percent year on year to nearly 141.6 million USD.
However, in the first quarter of 2019, two-way trade dropped by 12 percent year on year to over 64.6 million USD, due to a 27.6 percent decrease in imports from the CZE. Vietnam shipped to the CZE over 35.76 million USD worth of products in the period, up 2.4 percent, and imported over 26.87 million USD.
Nguyen Khanh Ngoc, deputy director of the Europe-America market department, said Vietnam’s exports to the CZE are mainly footwear, garment, seafood, consumer goods, computers and parts, mobile phones, and some types of equipment and machinery parts.
The country’s typical farm produce such as fruit, rice, tea, rubber, pepper and cashew nut still account for a small share in the Czech market, due to time-consuming import procedures, fast changes in demand and prices, Ngoc said, adding that another problem is the quality of products.
Meanwhile, Vietnam buys from the CZE various kinds of machinery and parts, electronic components, chemicals, medicine, garment accessories, glass and crystal goods, and milk and dairy products.
At the 6th meeting of the Vietnam-CZE Inter-governmental Committee in Hanoi last year, the two sides affirmed their intention to strengthen diplomatic relations and develop economic, trade and investment ties for mutual interest.
Also at the meeting, the two sides set up a working group on cooperation on mineral mining and processing and energy.
It is noteworthy that the CZE listed Vietnam among its 12 key markets in foreign trade during 2012-2020, the only ASEAN country in the list.
The CZE is pursuing a market opening policy and promoting trade liberalization and market opening, which is expected to facilitate Vietnam’s export to the country.
Besides, the EU-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement, once it is approved, is sure to give a boon to Vietnam’s export to the CZE.
At the same time, Vietnam’s goods will face competition in the Czech market, trade officials said, recommending that Vietnamese exporters should try to enter the supply chains of big retail systems in the CZE.