Vietnam seeks solutions to facilitate trade with ASEAN nations

06:00 | 27/07/2021 Vietnam - Asean

(VEN) -  ASEAN is an important import and export market of Vietnam. To minimize impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on trade, Vietnam has devised solutions to overcome difficulties.

Shortcomings

According to the Ministry of Industry and Trade, Vietnam’s total import-export turnover reached US$316.73 billion in the first half of the year. Two-way trade between Vietnam and ASEAN nations reached US$34.7 billion, accounting for 10.95 percent of the total.

vietnam seeks solutions to facilitate trade with asean nations

A recent meeting of the Vietnamese Ministry of Industry and Trade with ambassadors of ASEAN countries

Trade between Vietnam and its nine partners in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) has recorded an upward trend. Specifically, trade turnover between Vietnam and the Philippines more than doubled from US$2.4 billion in 2010 to US$5.3 billion in 2020. Despite the Covid-19 pandemic, trade between the two countries maintained its growth momentum in the first five months of 2021.

Trade turnover between Vietnam and Indonesia also increased in recent years, nearly doubling from US$5 billion in 2013 to more than US$9 billion in 2019. Although bilateral trade declined in 2020 due to the impact of the pandemic, it experienced a strong recovery in the first five months of 2021, reaching US$4.5 billion (up 40 percent compared to a year ago).

Singapore is also an important partner of Vietnam in trade and investment. Singapore is currently the third biggest foreign investor in Vietnam and Vietnam’s 10th and fourth largest trade partner in the world and in Southeast Asia, respectively.

However, the Covid-19 pandemic has undoubtedly affected trade. Nations investing in Vietnam, such as Singapore, are facing many difficulties due to increasing number of infections in Vietnam’s industrial zones, forcing their businesses to suspend or limit operations. Trade barriers are also a problem, hindering Vietnamese exports.

Strengthening cooperation

Vietnamese Minister of Industry and Trade Nguyen Hong Dien met with the ambassadors of ASEAN countries and offered proposals for easing trade difficulties.

During a meeting with Indonesian Ambassador to Vietnam Denny Abdi, Minister Nguyen Hong Dien proposed that the two sides restart the coordination mechanism of the Indonesia-Vietnam Joint Commission on Economic, Scientific, and Technical Cooperation (JC-ESTC), complete the signing and implement the memorandum of understanding on rice trading, remove trade barriers and increase efforts to facilitate the flow of goods and services. Dien also suggested that Indonesia create favorable conditions for Vietnam to buy coal.

At a meeting with Philippine Ambassador to Vietnam Meynardo Los Banos Montealegre, Minister Dien suggested the two countries work closely to organize the third meeting of the Philippines-Vietnam Joint Trade Committee as soon as possible and focus on opening their markets for agricultural products. Dien also asked the ambassador to discuss with relevant agencies the removal of trade barriers and restrictive regulations for Vietnamese exports, such as cement, plywood and ceramic tiles.

As for Singapore, Dien affirmed the Vietnamese Government has been implementing all measures to bring the Covid-19 pandemic under control, so industrial zones can return to normal operations.

Vietnam and other ASEAN countries are looking to take advantage of incentives provided by the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) and the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP), which play an important role in economic recovery during the post-pandemic period.

Thu Thuy