14:08 | 02/10/2017 Trade
(VEN) - Vietnam’s exports to ASEAN member states reached US$14.1 billion in the first eight months of the year, an increase of 26.5 percent compared to a year ago, according to the Ministry of Industry and Trade.
The growth is attributed, among other things, to preferential tariffs provided by the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC), making the 10-nation bloc one of Vietnam’s most important trade partners. The market potential is also enhanced by its close geographic position and similarities with Vietnam in terms of tastes and consumer habits.
To further boost Vietnamese penetration into ASEAN, authorities have organized many promotion activities through direct connections with distributors and importers. For example, in early August, a group of well-known companies such as Vinamilk, Vinamit, Co May, Bich Chi, Minh Long, Dien Quang, Quy Phuc and Biti’s under the Vietnamese High Quality Product Business Association went to Thailand to attend the ASEAN-India Expo and Forum. They met the region’s leading distributors, such as Berli Jucker Public Co., Ltd, CP ALL Public Company Limited, Fresh Mart International Public Company Limited, and Ek-Chai Distribution System Co., Ltd to discuss long-term plans. According to feedbacks received by participants, Thailand is quite interested in Vietnamese products.
The Vietnamese Goods Week in Thailand was held at Bangkok’s Central Ladprao Department Store in late August by the Central Group and the Ministry of Industry and Trade. More than 40 Vietnamese businesses and manufacturers met and worked with over 15 Thai units to promote demand-supply connection.
With the support of authorities, many businesses have promoted Vietnamese goods to ASEAN. For example, the Thien Long Group has invested heavily in market research to produce products that match the needs and characteristics of each market. The group’s products are now available in many ASEAN countries, such as Thailand, Malaysia and Singapore.
Vu Kim Hanh, chairwoman of the Vietnamese High Quality Product Business Association, said certain Vietnamese products are more prominent than those manufactured by ASEAN countries, such as dried fruit, processed products from coconut and organic rice. However, businesses need to increase technology content, build geographical indications and promote brands to help consumers familiarize themselves with the products. In addition, attention should be paid to investment in distribution channels, market research and trade promotion activities.
The Ministry of Industry and Trade will also provide on its website up-to-date information on ASEAN countries and their import tariffs for businesses.