06:00 | 26/04/2020 Trade
(VEN) - The Covid-19 pandemic has affected Vietnam’s trade promotion activities. Vu Ba Phu, director of the Vietnam Trade Promotion Agency, talked about the issue in an interview with Vietnam Economic News’ Viet Nga.
How has Covid-19 affected trade promotion activities?
The Ministry of Industry and Trade’s Vietnam Trade Promotion Agency has cancelled or delayed 49 projects under the national trade promotion program this year, including large international fairs and exhibitions of agricultural products, food, seafood, textiles and footwear at home and abroad, and major international trade events in Vietnam and the region. In the long term, this will have a negative impact on export turnover in particular and the economy in general, preventing access to markets and customers, introduction of products and signing of contracts with partners.
What has the agency done to address the problem?
The agency has cancelled some activities scheduled for the first six months of the year in order to divert funding to other projects, especially support for domestic consumption.
The agency has also encouraged localities, businesses and trade promotion organizations to develop online marketing and e-commerce, including trade promotion activities on digital platforms, and to boost application of information technology for their operations. In addition, the agency has provided Vietnamese trade offices abroad with a list of target markets and goods with high export potential compiled by localities and commodity associations. Those offices will then provide market information for importers and distributors in foreign countries.
How is the agency addressing the negative impact of the epidemic on Vietnam’s exports?
To overcome difficulties for businesses, the Vietnam Trade Promotion Agency has devised groups of solutions, especially ones to stimulate consumer demand and seek export markets for Vietnamese goods.
In order to develop the consumer market, the agency will support units in bringing fresh farm produce into supply chains and organize market days to bring agricultural products to export processing zones and urban areas. The agency will also coordinate with Vietnamese trade offices abroad to utilize export opportunities provided by new free trade agreements that Vietnam has signed and propose suitable trade promotions.
The second goal is to improve the competitiveness of businesses and products. The agency will coordinate with relevant agencies to promote GlobalGAP standards in farming, encourage producers to apply harvest and post-harvest methods and techniques, and raise technical standards on quality and deep processing for Vietnam’s export products. The agency will also strengthen information dissemination to help businesses understand and meet the technical requirements of export markets.
What are your recommendations for businesses?
The Covid-19 pandemic provides opportunities for domestic businesses to reorganize and restructure input material and exports. They need to devise plans and prepare resources to strengthen trade promotion activities after the pandemic ends.
Domestic businesses should be more active in taking advantage of incentives offered by the state, and apply information technology and develop e-commerce activities to reach out to customers. In addition, they should exchange information regularly and make contact with Vietnamese trade offices abroad in order to utilize export opportunities provided by free trade agreements for diversifying export markets.