The Hanoitimes - Over the past few years, Vietnam’s export structure has transformed significantly with a higher proportion of processed goods instead of raw materials.
Vietnam targets sustainable export growth, which may not result in a higher export turnover but focus on greater added value for exporters, according to Deputy Minister of Industry and Trade Do Thang Hai.
“It would require new approaches for export promotion and the way Vietnamese enterprises do businesses,” Hai said at the Vietnam Export Promotion Forum 2019 held on April 12.
Overview of the forum. Source: Ngoc Thuy.
According to Hai, over the past few years, Vietnam’s export structure has transformed significantly with a higher proportion of processed goods instead of raw materials as before.
“Vietnam has gradually cemented its position as a supplier of high quality products in the world market,” Hai said.
As the country has signed free trade agreements with its major trading partners, with the latest being the Comprehensive and Progressive Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP), a huge driving factor has been created to attract new wave of investment capital for production and trade promotion, Hai added.
Nevertheless, Vietnamese enterprises are now facing new challenges, including changes in consumption trend towards “green”, “smart”, “humane”, and “personal”, along with new rules and technical standards in import markets, Hai continued.
According to economist Vo Tri Thanh, for Vietnamese goods to maintain its competitiveness, enterprises must work closely with distributors, while being active in searching for new markets and improving customer services.
The concept of export is not limited to taking goods and services abroad, but also supplying inputs for foreign invested companies operating in Vietnam.
“This is the way for Vietnam to climb higher in the global value chain,” Thanh said.
Thanh pointed to logistics being a key measure for Vietnam to increase added value in exports, saying an efficient logistics sector would help Vietnamese exports grow in both quality and quantity sustainably.
Additionally, the enthronement of e-commerce is a notable trend of export, he said.
Economic value for Vietnam’s economy from digital trade in 2017 was estimated at VND81 trillion (US$3.5 billion), resulting in VND97 trillion (US$4.3 billion) in export value of digital goods and services. By 2030, these figures could potentially rise to VND953 trillion (US$42 billion) and VND652 trillion (US$29 billion) by 2030, respectively.
Thanh, however, said export promotion is important to help Vietnam realize the huge potential from digital trade through providing market information and laying the foundation for networking activities.
Vu Ba Phu, director of the Vietnam Trade Promotion Agency (VIETTRADE) under the Ministry of Industry and Trade (MoIT), said Vietnam’s economy largely relies on exports, due to its high level of openness.
The government, therefore, is responsible for maintaining a rapid and sustainable export growth, Phu said.
As of present, the majority of Vietnamese enterprises are small- and medium sized with limited financial resources, requiring supports from the government to access new markets.
“The MoIT would focus on cooperating with international trade promotion agencies, global e-commerce companies such as Amazon to open up new opportunities for Vietnamese enterprises,” Phu informed.