Opportunities, challenges for second-half exports

06:00 | 27/07/2022 Trade

(VEN) - Tran Thanh Hai, deputy director of the Agency of Foreign Trade under the Ministry of Industry and Trade, talked about opportunities and challenges for export-import activities in the second half of the year with Vietnam Economic News’ Phuong Lan.

opportunities challenges for second half exports
Tran Thanh Hai, deputy director of the Agency of Foreign Trade under the Ministry of Industry and Trade

Could you elaborate on first-half exports?

In the first half of the year, exports surged by 13 percent compared to the same period last year to around US$186 billion, while imports saw a 15-percent increase to US$185.3 billion. As a result, Vietnam recorded a slight trade surplus of about US$700 million.

All export commodity groups saw positive growth in the reviewed period. Vietnam’s seafood exports reached an estimated US$5.7 billion in the first half of the year, a year-on-year increase of 39.6 percent, while coffee exports rose nearly 50 percent to US$2.3 billion. Some other agricultural products recorded increases in export value, despite volume decreases.

Vietnam’s exports to markets of free trade agreement (FTA) signatories saw high growth rates, ranging between 12-34 percent.

Will increased petroleum and coal imports affect the domestic economic situation?

Vietnam is a country that both exports and imports fuel. In recent times, political tensions, especially the Russia-Ukraine war, have contributed to pushing up the world fuel prices.

Although Vietnam’s petroleum imports increased in the first half of the year, exports of fuel and mineral products saw a 53.8-percent increase, too, reaching US$2.47 billion. This shows a relative balance of exports and imports for energy and fuel.

What solutions are needed to reduce costs and help exporters?

The most prominent trend in the second half of the year is that the pandemic is brought under control and economic activities return to normal both domestically and internationally. Even China, which implemented the zero-COVID-19 policy, has relaxed measures in some key ports, creating favorable conditions for trade.

However, projections concerning stagflation in major economies are becoming more prevalent. High inflation will result in reduced consumer demand, especially for consumer goods and household appliances, directly affecting Vietnam’s exports.

Due to the Russia-Ukraine war, prices of fuel and basic commodities may continue to increase, affecting the input costs of businesses.

Increased transportation costs due to high petroleum prices are also a disadvantage for Vietnam’s export-import activities. Reducing costs requires a long-term plan and improvements in infrastructure, human resources and technologies.

The Ministry of Industry and Trade will continue to implement activities to promote industrial production, stabilize the circulation of goods and provide support for businesses in their export activities. In addition, the ministry will strengthen information dissemination on the benefits of FTAs, while preventing origin fraud and responding to trade remedies.

Phuong Lan