Aug 31, 2019 / 11:44

Vietnam, US share desire for greater trade relation: AmCham

The Hanoitimes - Vietnam’s thriving relationship with the US means there is much room for greater cooperation in trade between the two countries, said executive of the American Chamber of Commerce (AmCham).

The desire for Vietnam and the US to further build the trade relations is very high between the two governments, according to Amanda Rasmussen, chairwoman for the American Chamber of Commerce (AmCham) Ho Chi Minh City. 
Overview of the seminar. Source: Ngoc Thuy.
Overview of the seminar. Source: Ngoc Thuy.
“Although Vietnam is still a small country, because of the thriving relationship with the US, there is much room for greater cooperation in trade between the two,” said Rasmussen at a seminar on promoting export to the US on August 29. 

Rasmussen referred to statistics that bilateral trade turnover in the first quarter reached US$18.44 billion, up 37% year-on-year, of which Vietnam’s exports to the US grew 16.9% year-on-year and its imports rose 40.15%. 

As the US – China trade war is dragging on and there have been reports suggesting Vietnam is among the winners of the current situation, Rasmussen said there are benefits, but “it is still limited,” adding no matter how much manufacturing from China or elsewhere shift to Vietnam, the country does not have the capacity to fully absorb this but “only a small percentage.”

“Vietnam may benefit from the US – China trade war, but its export growth should not rely too much on the current tension. Therefore, Vietnam needs to focus on exporting directly to the US, instead of having its products involving a third country,” Rasmussen asserted. 

The most important thing for Vietnamese exporters is to fully understand US import requirements, she stated.

Rasmussen suggested that before the shipment to the US, Vietnamese exporters check out US import restrictions, estimate custom duty, and provide standard documents at shipment booking. 

Local exporters then should take out a customs bond during the shipment process, and more importantly, they must be honest with customs, check documents for accuracy and pay customs clearance, she continued. 

Nguyen Vu Kien, deputy head of the International Relations Department under the Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry  (VCCI), said it is vital for exporters to know the target market to achieve the best result possible, particularly as global trade relations have become unpredictable with more countries adopting trade protection measures, leading to a sharp increase in the number of trade disputes. 

Previously Nestor Sherbey, expert at Global Alliance for Trade Facilitation (GTFA), said products such as electronics and machinery are made of different components and parts, requiring full transparency regarding products origin in customs documents shown to the US authorities to avoid heavy punishment. 

Vietnam’s certification is only a source of reference for US customs, as they have their own measures to check the origin of imports, said Sherbey.

On Vietnam’s economic outlook, AmCham Ho Chi Minh City’s Chairwoman Rasmussen cited the organization’s recent report on Vietnam’s business environment that the country is becoming more attractive to investors, while another survey revealed 72% out of the 219 firms in China said they were considering moving supply chain souring out of China, with Vietnam being one of the preferred alternative destinations. 

Besides, a study implemented by the Japanese Trade Organization (JETRO) found that the percentage of profitable Japanese-invested companies in Vietnam grew from 62.8% in 2016 to 65.1% in 2017. Some 70% of the surveyed companies are planning to increase their investment in Vietnam.