Hanoi boosts exports after 2016 drop

10:47 | 02/06/2017 Economy- Society

(VEN) - Hanoi plans to achieve export revenues of US$11.1 billion in 2017, 4.5 percent more than 2016. Vietnam Economic News’ Nguyen Hanh spoke with deputy director of the Hanoi Department of Industry and Trade, Nguyen Thanh Hai, about the city’s targets.  

hanoi boosts exports after 2016 drop
Hanoi exported textiles and garments worth an estimated US$1.4 billion in 2016, 5.7 percent less than 2015

Why did some of Hanoi’s major exports in 2016, including textile-garments, computer components and farm produce, decrease compared to the previous year?

Hanoi exported goods worth more than US$10.61 billion in 2016, an increase of 1.3 percent over 2015, while the export growth target set by the city People’s Council is 7-8 percent. Farm produce exports dropped 9.2 percent, as China - the biggest importer of Vietnamese farm produce - has put in place considerably stricter plant quarantine standards.

Many farm products don’t have brands in foreign markets. Some of them have not satisfied food safety and hygiene standards in stricter markets such as the US, the EU and Japan.

Rice exporters were under pressure to keep their rice prices high to offset the cost of salt-water intrusion, so their products were less competitive than products of the same kind from other countries.

Vietnamese textile and garment exports had a price 20-30 percent higher than that of products of the same kind from other countries, so importers bought less textiles and garments from Vietnam. Moreover, a number of textiles, garments and footwear exports haven’t met the standards of consumption and environmental protection standards of importing countries.

Could you tell us about Hanoi’s plan for export promotion?

While Hanoi’s exporters are facing many difficulties, free trade agreements between Vietnam and partners, including the Republic of Korea (RoK), the EU, the Eurasian Economic Union (EEU), and more, which have been signed or are being negotiated, are expected to open up many opportunities for increasing trade between Vietnam and those markets. The Hanoi People’s Committee issued Plan 89/KH-UBND featuring 10 important solutions to help businesses overcome difficulties, maintain and expand markets, and increase exports.

Hanoi will continue to accelerate administrative reforms, improve its plans for development of industrial zones for small to medium-sized enterprises, major industries and support industries, and implement monetary policies following guidelines by the government and other central authorities.

The city will also improve the competitiveness of enterprises and manufacturers, continue labor supply-demand connections to meet export producers’ manpower demands, and work to attract more investment in export-serving infrastructure development. It also plans to renovate and improve trade and investment promotion programs, maintain regular meetings with businesses, strengthen import control, and get producers and exporters in the city to take the initiative in increasing product quality and competitiveness.

Nguyen Hanh