08:35 | 11/03/2016 Trade
(VEN) - While the US$162.5 billion annual export target set for 2016 is an ambitious target, a variety of measures have been taken as part of efforts to make this a reality.
Free trade agreements are expected to bring Vietnam a lot of export opportunities in 2016
Statistics from the Ministry of Industry and Trade (MoIT) show that the export value reached an estimated US$13.8 billion in January, a rise of 2.2 percent compared with the same time in 2015. Some kinds of goods saw increases in their export value, for example rice up 62.2 percent, seafood 10.3 percent, footwear 7.5 percent, textiles and garments 5.8 percent, timber and wood products 3.4 percent, telephones and components 2.4 percent.
Notably, the export value of processing industry-related products grew just about 2.8 percent. This low growth rate was attributed to a slowdown in the export of telephones and telephone components, computers and electronic components.
Exports to the US reached an estimated US$3.1 billion, a rise of 17.3 percent compared with the same time in 2015. Exports to the EU reached US$2.7 billion, up 1.8 percent; China US$1.7 billion, up 24.3 percent, and ASEAN US$1.5 billion, down 12.4 percent.
Phan Van Chinh, Director of the Agency of Foreign Trade under the MoIT, said Vietnam encountered export difficulties right in the first month of 2016, and to achieve the 10 percent export growth target set for this year, the country needed to achieve a monthly export value of US$14.7-14.8 billion, a rise of US$1.3 billion compared with 2015. Clearly, this target is uneasy to be realized.
Meanwhile, mineral prices have dropped continuously, and international organizations forecast this trend would continue in 2016. Many industrial projects have been developed but so far none of them have launched products. These difficulties will hinder the realization of the annual export target for 2016.
The export value of many kinds of agricultural, forest and aquatic products grew fairly well. The Vietnam Food Association forecast businesses would not have to buy rice for temporary reserve in this winter-spring season, and that rice farmers and traders would face fewer difficulties compared with last year.
To achieve the annual export target for 2016, Chinh said that the MoIT has encouraged businesses to concentrate on developing new products that are of high added value and the market demand for which is high. The ministry also requested agencies, departments, and localities to check investment projects and resolve difficulties facing industrial plants so that they could commence production and create products for export.
Free trade agreements are expected to bring Vietnam a lot of export opportunities in 2016. The MoIT has organized nearly 40 training courses for businesses and concerned units so that they can make the most of these opportunities.
To increase the annual export value by 10 percent compared with 2015 and curb the trade deficit at below five percent of the export value, Deputy Minister of Industry and Trade Tran Tuan Anh requested member units of the MoIT to concentrate on resolving difficulties that faced businesses, while at the same time effectively implementing international commitments and simplifying administrative procedures so that businesses could reduce costs and increase exports.