11:33 | 25/07/2016 Trade
(VEN) - Vietnam achieved satisfactory export results despite numerous difficulties in the first half of this year. Many sectors expect to maintain their export growth in the second half of the year.
Fruit and vegetables top the list of export growth
In the first six months the export value of agricultural, forest and seafood products grew 10.1 percent compared with the same period last year, while the average export growth of all categories of products was six percent. The export of products in this group is expected to continue bringing satisfactory results towards the year’s end.
The export value of fruit and vegetables grew 53 percent in the first six months, and is expected to continue increasing in the second half of the year. On June 1, Vietnam received a license to resume white-flesh dragon fruit exports to Chinese Taipei following a near-eight-year interruption. In early April, Australia began to consider allowing local businesses to import fresh dragon fruit from Vietnam. Also in April, some Japanese supermarket chains began to sell Vietnamese bananas.
The export value of rice is expected to soar this year thanks to continuous price improvements. It grew 56 percent in the first quarter. The Vietnam Food Association forecasted that rice exports would bring satisfactory results towards the year’s end because Vietnam would sign big contracts with the Philippines, Indonesia, and Malaysia. The signing of a protocol on rice and rice bran exports to China in late May was also expected to create a boost for Vietnamese rice exports to this market via official channels in coming months.
The export value of processing industry-related products, especially mobile phones and computers, grew at lower rates in the first six months compared with the same period last year. However, increases were seen in the export value of many products in this group. For example, the export value of handbags, suitcases, headwear, and umbrellas grew more than 12 percent and is expected to continue increasing towards the year’s end. Other key export products such as mobile phones and components, textiles, garments, and footwear are expected to remain at leading positions in terms of export growth.
Diverse solutions to boost exports
Striving to achieve the 10 percent annual export growth target is a major task for the Ministry of Industry and Trade in the second half of the year. Although export opportunities remain because big orders often come in the third and fourth quarters, this target will not be easy to be achieved. Minister of Industry and Trade Tran Tuan Anh has provided guidance for its departments and agencies to bring into play their regulatory role through appropriate policies in order to boost exports in the final months of the year.
Phan Thi Dieu Ha, Deputy Director of the Agency of Foreign Trade under the Ministry of Industry and Trade, said processing industry-related products accounted for over 80 percent of Vietnam’s total export value. Therefore a slowdown in the export growth of products in this group would have a big impact on total export value. The Ministry of Industry and Trade is working with associations to seek solutions to help processing businesses overcome difficulties. Necessary measures will be taken to minimize transportation costs in order to reduce the cost of exports. Administrative procedures will be simplified to facilitate export activities.
On their side, businesses need to make their own efforts to promote exports. Dr. Nguyen Quang Thai, Vice President and Secretary General of the Vietnam Economic Association, said that along with efforts to enhance product competitiveness, businesses from all sectors needed to have good knowledge of international integration in order to take the initiative in dealing with trade disputes arising from import markets. In addition, businesses in the processing industry need to join chains so that they can seek input products from domestic sources and reduce their dependence on imports - this will make the Vietnamese economy sustainable and promote its growth.
Unstable quality and a lack of brands are major weaknesses of Vietnamese agricultural, forest and seafood products. Hence, in the opinion of experts, the most important thing businesses need to do to enhance product competitiveness is improving and ensuring quality in conjunction with building brands. These efforts will bring maximum benefits to businesses and significantly contribute to the realization of the country’s export growth target.