Mr Tai said Vietnam’s exports to the US hit US$41.6 billion last year, making up more than 20% of the country’s total exports. In addition to key goods such as garments, footwear, timber products, and seafood, new products like electronics, steel and processed foods have also found a foothold in the market.
According to Nguyen Thang Vuong from the Ministry of Industry and Trade (MOIT)’s European-America Markets Department, two-way trade between Vietnam and the US has been on a sharp upward trend since the US-Vietnam Bilateral Trade Agreement (BTA) came into force. Trade volume has ballooned 47 fold from US$220 million in 1994 to roughly US$50.8 billion in late 2017.
Vietnam ranks 12th in merchandise exports to the US and 27th in imports. It has grown to become the 16th largest trade partner of the powerful nation. Vietnam’s trade surplus with the US exceeded US$32.4 billion last year.
The value of ten key product groups exported to the US hit approximately US$34 billion, accounting for more than 80% of the country’s total exports to the American nation.
Dao Tran Nhan, former minister counsellor of the Vietnamese Trade Office in the US, said the huge market has great potential but has very stringent trade rules, requiring Vietnamese exporters to improve their capacity and actively cooperate in building supply chains.
When working with US partners, especially in e-payment, if they ask to change banks, domestic businesses must suspend email communication and phone them directly with their enquiry to avoid risks, Nhan warned.
At present, five kinds of fresh Vietnamese fruits - dragon fruit, rambutan, lychee, longan and star-apple – are permitted for export to the US, while mango is being considered for approval. Especially, star-apple has been proposed for imports by the US Embassy.