Local exporters eye EU and US markets

Update: 12/12/2012

Exports to the European Union (EU) and the US remained Vietnam’s leading export markets have accounted for 34.6 percent of the country’s total export turnover so far this year.

Nguyen Tien Vy, Head of the Planning Department under the Ministry of Industry and Trade (MoIT), estimates Vietnam’s total export turnover at US$83.78 billion by September, up 18.9 percent over the same period last year.

He says even there are growing demand for consumer goods from these two markets. local exporters should be more cautious about seasonal fluctuations and anti-dumping suits against imports from Vietnam.

Susan Schwab, a former US trade representative, suggests Vietnam should also boost exports to other countries. Too much dependence on the US market may put them at risk. History show that Vietnam has more than once run into trouble when the US put up technical barriers to maintain its trade balance, she says.


Economist Bui Kien Thanh says there is a limit to Vietnam’s vallu-added export items, including footwear, garment and textile products, which are simply based on low-cost labour.

Thanh says local businesses should focus on exploiting agricultural products and consumer goods of high value which are much sought after in the world.

Aside from the EU and US, China is also considered one of Vietnam’s leading trade partners, which made up 20.5 percent of total turnover in the first nine months of this year.

Nevertheless, there’s growing concern about Vietnam’s too much dependence on imports from China.

According to the General Statistics Office (GSO), Vietnam has recently imported a huge volume of input materials from China, including machinery, spare parts, telephones, computers, electronics, garment and textile materials, petrol, fertilisers, and food for animals.

Dao Ngoc Chuong, Deputy Head of the MoIT’s Asia-Pacific Market Department, attributes Vietnam’s import surplus from the Chinese market to the weak development of local support industries to meet increasing demand for domestic production and export businesses even in the short run.

Moreover, he says, China is at a greater advantage than Vietnam in terms of price gauging and geographical position.

Chuong reveals that Vietnam needs not only input materials but also cheap consumer products which are mostly imported through unofficial channels. Hence, the exact figure of Vietnam’s total import surplus from China is yet to be determined.

He warns as China is exporting inferior products to less developed countries, Vietnam should have second thoughts about importing input materials from this market. Obviously, Vietnam’s import-export performance remains too much dependent on overseas markets and need to adapt to a more dynamic development trend.

Source - VOV News

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