|Tra fish processing at Cuu Long An Giang Seafood Imports-Exports Company
In an interview granted to the Vietnam News Agency (VNA), Duong said Vietnam exported more than US$66.6 billion worth of goods to the US in 2019, an increase of more than 35% year-on-year.
It shipped 90 groups of commodities compared with just 60 groups two decades ago. Total export revenue to the country accounted for around a quarter of Vietnam’s accumulative export value.
Garments and textiles have remained Vietnam’s leading export to the US over the past 20 years, Duong said, with high-tech products playing an increasing role in the export structure.
However, he went on, Vietnam received added value of only some 23% of the nearly US$67 billion in export revenue, while the remainder went to foreign-invested enterprises.
Vietnam’s export to the US in the first quarter of this year painted a gloomy picture, as only two or three groups of commodities posted growth.
He pointed to difficulties ahead when the COVID-19 pandemic passes, leaving disrupted supply chains and unforeseeable orders from the US.
The MoIT, in its capacity as Chair of the Vietnam-US Trade and Investment Framework Agreement (TIFA) Council, has worked to promote bilateral trade ties, remove obstacles facing US firms in Vietnam, and help Vietnamese businesses gain better understanding of the US market.
Regarding Vietnam’s agricultural exports to the US, Duong stressed the need to study the US market and learn about the tastes of local consumers.
Figures reveal that six types of Vietnamese fruit have been exported to the US but in limited volumes due to huge transportation costs and high-tech preservation methods that have weakened price competition.
“Vietnam holds great potential for agricultural exports to the US but to unlock that potential, businesses must think about a suitable approach,” he said.
Tensions in China-US relations have altered supply chains, with investment waves moving out of China, he said, adding that Vietnam will benefit from this but domestic firms therefore need to enhance their competitiveness so as to be able to seize the opportunities.