Vietnam seeks ways to increase exports to ASEAN
Updated : Thursday, October 11, 2018 5:35 PM (GMT+0700)

Vietnamesebusinesses have not yet tapped opportunities brought by the ASEAN EconomicCommunity (AEC) to boost exports to the ASEAN market, said experts at a seminarin Ho Chi Minh City on October 10.

The ASEAN Economic Community is expected to open up many new opportunities for
Vietnamese enterprises, especially in commodity exports - Photo: VNA

With a market of 660 millionpeople and a GDP of nearly 2.6 trillion USD, the AEC is now the sixth largesteconomy globally and is projected to rank fourth in 2030. Therefore, it isexpected to open up many new opportunities for Vietnamese enterprises, especiallyin commodity exports.

However, since the AEC wasestablished three years ago, Vietnamese companies have not yet created anybreakthroughs in exporting their goods to other ASEAN member countries, saidparticipants.

According to Pham ThanhKien, Director of the HCM City Department of Industry and Trade, there was nodrastic increase in the city’s exports to the ASEAN market since the debut ofthe AEC and even its export growth tends to gradually decrease.

He cited that HCM City’s2016 exports to ASEAN members rose 13 percent against the previous year but in2017, the figure was only 4 percent year-on-year.

The city’s exports arerising but imports are rising faster, at 8.15 billion USD last year, which was2.6 times higher than exports, he added.

Pham Thiet Hoa, Director ofthe HCM City Investment, Trade and Promotion Centre, said the reasons for thelimited exports to ASEAN markets are lack of product diversity, uncompetitiveprices, limited distribution system, and lack of coordination with tradefacilitation authorities.

Firms need to betterresearch the requirements for exporting to these markets, learn the culture oftheir target markets and pay attention to business decisions such as workingwith foreign business partners, especially those in Islamic countries, headded.

Sharing the view with Hoa,Kien said besides improving their production capabilities, firms need to doextensive market research, look for new trade opportunities and network withtrustworthy local distributors.

Nguyen Thi Tue Anh, DeputyDirector of the Central Institute for Economic Management, said Vietnamesefirms now have greater opportunities than ever to export to ASEAN memberstates.

But while Vietnam’s importsfrom ASEAN countries have increased sharply since 2015, its exports to thehighly competitive markets have not.

To make the best use of theAEC’s potential, Vietnamese businesses need to stand ready to tapopportunities. They must change their mindsets and consider competitionpressure a motivation for renovation and development, Anh said.

Local firms should activelystudy and update information relating to preferential tariff commitments andrequirements for product origin in order to fully tap opportunities to developmarkets, while investing more in production technology, administration andhuman resources quality, he added.

Held by Saigon Times newspaper and SaigonTimes Club’s 2030 Business Club, the seminar was attended by executives fromaround 300 firms.


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