Oct 19, 2021 / 11:55

Hanoi stands firm on export target of US$17 billion in 2021

Hanoi is scheduled to announce an economic recovery plan in line with Covid-19 control and prevention.

Hanoi's authorities will provide further support for businesses to ensure it is on right track to realize the export target of US$17 billion and recover the economy this year, according to Tran Phuong Lan, acting Director of the Hanoi’s Department of Industry and Trade.

"The city is set to soon announce an economic recovery plan in line with Covid-19 control and prevention, which would serve as the basis for each district, unit, or department in their own recovery plan to promote trade, services, and logistics activities, in turn stimulating consumption, investment, and tourism," Lan said.

 Production at Hanoi-based SunHouse Group. Photo: Hai Linh

Statistics from Hanoi’s Department of Industry and Trade revealed despite the severe impacts from the fourth Covid-19 outbreak, the city’s export turnover in the third quarter still rose by nearly 1% against the previous quarter to $4 billion.

This resulted in total exports of $11.1 billion in the first nine months of 2021. Of the total, Hanoi’s export staples recorded strong growth during the period, including phones and parts with $268 million (up 50% year-on-year); transportation vehicles and parts with $1.13 billion (41.3%); wood and wooden products with $531 million, (38.4%); footwear with $243 million (31.5%); machinery and equipment with $1.43 billion (23.4%).

“Strong results gained during the past periods were thanks to local firms having drafted backup plans from early 2021 to mitigate risks and impacts from the pandemic,” noted the municipal Department.

Vice General Director of the Hanoi Trade Corporation (Hapro) Le Anh Tuan said amid the disruption of global supply chains and cancellation of contract orders from abroad, the firm has been actively looking for new markets and working on new products.

“We keep close contact with Vietnam’s trade missions abroad to better understand market preferences to readjust business strategy while investing in our own supply chains to avoid external risks,” Tuan told The Hanoi Times.

Sharing the same view, Vice General Director of Rang Dong Company Nguyen Doan Ket noted the company recorded exports of VND411 billion ($18 million) to nearly 20 countries and territories, including new markets in North America, South America, or North Asia.

“Effective utilization of free trade agreements that Vietnam is a part of remains a key solution for local firms to boost exports,” Ket told The Hanoi Times, adding the recovery of traditional markets such as the EU, US, or Japan has also been a positive sign for Vietnamese companies.

Hanoi’s plan for economic recovery

Despite the positive results in export activities, the Covid-19 pandemic remains a huge challenge for local traders due to rising logistics costs and risks of labor shortage from mobility restriction.

On this issue, experts suggested local authorities soon draft economic recovery plans for the remainder of the year, especially those of major export hubs such as Hanoi or Ho Chi Minh City.

“The priority is to ensure that local firms better utilize FTAs between Vietnam and trading partners,” economist Nguyen Minh Phong told The Hanoi Times.

“Along with market diversification, firms have to take advantage of economic recovery from major markets, such as the US or Europe, to push for higher export turnover in key commodities such as garment, footwear, electronics, or wooden products, at the year-end shopping season,” he suggested.

Vice General Director of Thuong Dinh Electrical Wires and Cables Company Huynh Tan Quyen called for authorities of Hanoi and the Ministry of Industry and Trade (MoIT) to continue supporting companies by lowering logistics costs and extending payment schedules of taxes and fees.

“Customs authorities should also simplify the clearance process for firms to fulfill contract orders on time,” Quyen told The Hanoi Times.

Regarding these issues, Acting Director of the Hanoi’s Department of Industry and Trade Tran Thi Phuong Lan said the agency would continue to provide online training courses for local firms on next-generation FTAs, including the EVFTA, CPTPP, or RCEP, along with a strong push in administrative reform and trade promotion.

“The Government and business associations should focus their support on helping firms to diversify both import and export markets and mitigate potential risks from external shocks. At provincial levels, there should be policies to promote brands of key products for exports,” said Ngo Tri Long, former Director of the Ministry of Finance’s Price and Market Research Institute.

“Hanoi is scheduled to announce an economic recovery plan in line with Covid-19 control and prevention. As such, each district, unit or department would be required to carry out their own recovery plan to promote trade, services and logistics activities, in turn stimulating consumption, investment, and tourism,” said Acting Director of the Hanoi’s Department of Industry and Trade Tran Thi Phuong Lan.