08:58 | 22/02/2016 Trade
(VEN) - Creating more sources of exports, expanding export markets, improving the quality of exports and establishing brand names of agricultural exports are major tasks of the industry and trade sector in 2016 in order to achieve the export growth rate of 10 percent and peg the trade deficit at less than five percent.
Exports are expected to grow by 10 percent in 2016
Best facilitating exporters
According to Deputy Minister of Industry and Trade Tran Tuan Anh, 2015 was a hard year for Vietnamese exporters since many major export items plunged both in terms of price and volume. However, the Ministry of Industry and Trade has actively worked with related ministries and agencies to implement a full range of measures to resolve difficulties for businesses, expand export markets, boost exports, support producers, promote free trade agreements among businesses in order for them to better understand and make the most of opportunities from these agreements, and increase trade facilitation activities.
As a result of the government’s management efforts and the Ministry of Industry and Trade’s close directions, most export targets were realized. The export structure has improved following the Export and Import Strategy for 2011-2020, with a Vision to 2030.
Exports to major markets and regions grew in 2015, while Vietnamese goods started to enter new potential markets, the deputy minister said.
The trade deficit was kept under control, reaching about US$3.2 billion in 2015, accounting for two percent of total export revenues compared with the five percent set previously set by the National Assembly, becoming a highlight of the year’s exports and imports.
The global economy is expected to show positive signs in 2016, while the domestic economy is likely to grow rapidly and steadily. Vietnam has completed negotiations on a number of multilateral and bilateral trade agreements opening up multiple opportunities for Vietnamese exports.
To reach this year’s export growth target set by the National Assembly, the Ministry of Industry and Trade will get together with related ministries, agencies and local authorities to implement major solutions such as resolving difficulties for businesses, supporting producers, creating more sources of exports and expanding export markets.
Anh said that the establishment of AEC at the end of 2015 and the conclusion and implementation of FTAs are expected to provide ample opportunities for exports. For this reason, apart from expanding export markets, the Ministry of Industry and Trade will promote awareness about the contents of the FTAs among businesses and continue administrative reforms to facilitate enterprises.
Exports are oriented towards deep processing
Apart from changes in export markets, one of major reasons for the decline in Vietnamese exports in 2015 lies in the quality and brand names of many major items such as rice and seafood. Raw agricultural and seafood exports which were mixed with other substances and excessive antibiotic residues have made many Vietnamese exports less competitive and cheap.
According to the Ministry of Industry and Trade, agricultural and seafood exports have played a key role in total export revenues in recent years and increasing farmer’s income. However, the competitiveness of Vietnamese agricultural and seafood exports has not improved significantly, while the quality of several kinds of export has been unstable and export varieties have been poor unable to meet the demand in several hard-to-please importing markets.
Anh largely attributed the shortcoming to the small, family-based scale of farming and difficulties in controlling the quality of production, applying technical standards, establishing brand names and certifying the quality of goods.
To ratify the situation and boost investment to improve the quality and competitiveness of exports, the government plans to intensify restructuring of agricultural and seafood exports underscoring deep processing and implementing a proper itinerary to improve the quality and effectiveness of agricultural and seafood exports, Anh said.
This year the Ministry of Industry and Trade will continue concluding bilateral agreements on and mutual recognition of plant quarantine and food hygiene and safety, particularly in major export markets, in order to better help exporters with their payments and the need to meet standards in importing markets.