Vietnamese firms fall short on standardization

13:00 | 06/05/2020 Science - Technology

(VEN) - Having an appropriate standardization strategy and meeting international standards is important for businesses to improve quality and competitiveness, and successfully integrate into international markets. However, a large number of Vietnamese enterprises are still unaware of the importance of standardization and/or unable to apply it.

vietnamese firms fall short on standardization

Key to market access

At a recent online seminar themed “Meeting national standards is important to improve the quality of Vietnamese goods”, Vu Kim Hanh, Chair of the Business Association of High Quality Vietnamese Products, said meeting quality standards is crucial to developing export markets given that standards are in fact technical barriers used by importing countries. Technical barriers in international trade are divided into six groups - regulations and standards on product quality, user safety, the environment, social responsibility, product labeling, and product origin, Hanh said.

The deeper the integration, the more complex and difficult technical barriers are. “I have been working in business promotion for more than 25 years and realize that technical standards and market standards are those related to consumer psychology, behavior, needs and expectations. They are necessary conditions that Vietnamese enterprises and products must meet to integrate into international economic communities,” Hanh said.

Tran Van Hoc, Vice President of the Vietnam Standard and Quality Science and Technology Association, said the Vietnam Standards (TCVN) were issued for the first time in 1962 and have been continually developed to become increasingly compliant with international standards. They consist of more than 11,500 TCVN standards, over 780 national technical regulations, and tens of thousands of grassroots standards in different fields, serving production, trading and management activities.

This system has contributed to improving productivity and product quality, ensuring the safety of people and the environment, increasing exports and facilitating Vietnam's foreign trade. Meeting international standards has helped Vietnamese enterprises access discerning markets, overcome technical export barriers, and compete fairly with enterprises providing similar products in foreign markets, Hoc said.

Business awareness improvement

Vu Kim Hanh, Chair of the Business Association of High Quality Vietnamese Products, said many businesses haven’t paid due attention to standards, and some even haven’t acknowledged them. The state must expand its role in developing standards, promoting them among enterprises and farmers, and supervising and facilitating standardization and standard satisfaction, she added.

The Business Association of High Quality Vietnamese Products recently worked with the Ministry of Science and Technology in building criteria of high-quality Vietnamese goods that meet integration standards. The criteria were built through cooperation with domestic and foreign quality control and accreditation organizations, the Ministry of Science and Technology’s Directorate for Standards, Metrology and Quality of Vietnam (STAMEQ), and the American Chamber of Commerce (Amcham) and European Chamber of Commerce (Eurocham) in Vietnam.

Tran Van Hoc, Vice President of the Vietnam Standard and Quality Science and Technology Association, said standardization has contributed greatly to development of enterprises of all sizes but many enterprises still have limited awareness of its importance.

According to economists, enterprises should plan standardization development with the participation of all their member units as soon as they have knowledge and are aware of its importance. Building a standardization strategy is important for a company to reach sustainable, long-term development.

Quynh Nga