|Rubber production inside a plant
According to the General Department of Vietnam Customs, in 2017, trade between Vietnam and China reached US$94.3 billion, with Vietnam’s exports hitting US$35.4 billion.
In the first 11 months of 2018, Vietnamese shipments to China were valued at US$37.6 billion, up 22% year on year, an equivalent to 16.8% of the country’s total export value. Exported goods that reeled in more than US$1 billion in the period included phone-components (US$8.4 billion), electronic devices and components (US$7.6 billion), fruit-vegetables (US$2.5 billion), garment-textile (US$1.38 billion) and rubber (US$1.2 billion).
Speaking at a recent forum on exports to ASEAN and China held by the Investment & Trade Promotion Centre of Ho Chi Minh City, Chinese Consul General to Ho Chi Minh City Wu Jun said Vietnam is among China’s biggest trade partners in ASEAN.
He said to serve demand of its 1.3 billion population, China will sustain its policy of economic openness, win-win benefits, trade liberalisation and investment facilitation.
According to the diplomat, contracts worth US$57.8 billion were secured at the first China International Import Expo last November. It is expected the country’s imports of goods and services will surpass US$30 trillion and US$10 trillion in the next 15 years, respectively.
He said Vietnam – China trade could grow yet further. However, Vietnamese firms have been warned to stay alert when carrying out import-export activities with the market.
The Vietnamese trade office in China said the country has raised its quarantine standards and conditions for imported agricultural products, and is building examination facilities on par with those of the US, Japan and EU nations. As such, Vietnamese exporters should be aware of China’s regulations on product origin and quality.
Meanwhile, several Vietnamese export products to China are facing fierce competition from Thailand, Indonesia, Cambodia and even China. For example, Chinese businesses are planning to invest in tra fish production, meaning China might reduce imports and Vietnamese exporters should come up with back-up plans. China, surpassing the US, is now the biggest importer of Vietnamese tra fish.
According to insiders, the context presents both opportunities and challenges, requiring Vietnamese enterprises to intensify efforts in market study, brand building and intellectual property protection when doing business with Chinese partners.