16:32 | 05/10/2015 Trade
(VEN) - According to the Ministry of Industry and Trade, Vietnamese exports reached US$106.3 billion in the first eight months of this year, a nine percent increase from a year ago. To achieve an export growth rate of 10 percent by the end of the year, export revenues must reach about US$14.75 billion per month between now and the year’s end. The Ministry of Industry and Trade is trying to realize the target, said Deputy Minister of Industry and Trade Do Thang Hai during an interview with Vietnam Economic News’ reporter Nguyen Hoa.
Photo: Can Dung
What’s your opinion on Vietnam’s foreign trade in the first eight months of this year?
Exports faced many difficulties. Firstly, Vietnam’s traditional export markets faced numerous hurdles leading to lower demand and reduced revenues. Secondly, the price of crude oil changed unexpectedly and continued to fall, causing a decline in crude oil export revenues and export revenues in general. Thirdly, China’s recent devaluation of the yuan has led to many difficulties for Vietnamese exports.
However, as a result of the government’s close direction and great efforts of local authorities, ministries and businesses, Vietnamese export revenues in the first eight months of this year still grew by about nine percent from the same period last year reaching US$106.3 billion. The trade deficit accounted for only 3.4 percent of export revenues, meeting the objective set by the National Assembly. The Ministry of Industry and Trade spoke highly of the export of processed industrial goods which grew dramatically and accounted for more than 70 percent of total export revenues.
Despite the increase in the import of controlled and restricted items, Vietnam managed to keep imports under control. In the current situation, such exports and imports look good.
To achieve the export growth rate of 10 percent by the year’s end, the Agency of Foreign Trade said that Vietnam must export an average of US$14.75 billion worth of exports per month in the last months of the year. Do you think the target is too high? What solutions does the Ministry of Industry and Trade have to make it happen?
The government has asked the Ministry of Industry and Trade to take every possible measure to realize the foreign trade targets including export growth of 10 percent rate and a trade deficit of less than five percent.
Apart from the Ministry of Industry and Trade, related ministries, localities, authorities and businesses also need to work together to make the goals a reality. The Ministry of Industry and Trade is trying to resolve difficulties in terms of export markets, particularly Vietnam’s major export markets such as Asia and the European Union, while focusing on markets which have high demand for imports from Vietnam such as Russia and East Europe, plus potentially large markets like Africa, the Middle East and the Near East to boost exports.
The Export and Import Department is working with the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development to verify advantages and disadvantages of each and every category of goods to implement trade promotion programs in major markets such as China and the US to foster exports.
The Ministry of Industry and Trade will continue working with related ministries, sectors, associations and businesses to look to improve the quality of exports.
The ministry is actively carrying on negotiations on expanding Vietnam’s export markets. Vietnam should conclude a free trade agreement (FTA) with the EU and maybe the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) agreement.
Businesses keep saying that they don’t thoroughly understand the advantages and disadvantages posed by international economic integration. What solutions have the Ministry of Industry and Trade devised in order for them to make the most of integration opportunities?
The Ministry of Industry and Trade has organized a full range of workshops and forums to provide information about international economic integration among people and businesses. It is also drafting a project to enhance information about international economic integration focusing on integration impacts, opportunities and challenges, as well as solutions to make the most of opportunities and overcome challenges. I hope that after the project is adopted, as it would help businesses build capacity and broaden their understanding of international economic integration to contribute to economic development in the country.
To make the most of FTA preferences, the Ministry of Industry and Trade recently implemented circulars to facilitate electronic country of origin (C/O) certification, save costs and reduce business paperwork time. The ministry also issued Circular 28/2015/TT-BCT on August 20, 2015 regulating trial self-certification of the country of origin of goods under the ASEAN Trade in Goods Agreement. Following the circular, businesses that export goods to ASEAN would be eligible to self-certify the country of origin of their exports within ASEAN. For this reason, it is expected that Vietnamese exports should benefit from a more favorable situation in the near future.