HCM CITY — Viet Nam has set a export target of US$6 billion for the Latin American market by 2015, and between $12 billion and 15 billion by 2020, according to the Ministry of Industry and Trade (MoIT).
The MoIT estimates that this year the country's export value would be $700 million in each of the Brazilian and Mexican markets.
In addition to the 10 traditional markets in Latin America, the ministry also plans to expand Viet Nam's export activities to 23 other markets in the region, with export value in each market averaging $204.4 million.
Viet Nam's market share in the Latin American market is still modest, accounting for only 0.18 per cent of the region's total import value.
The country's traditional importers in the Latin American region include Brazil, which last year imported $597.7 million, Mexico, which imported $589.7 million, Panama, with import value of $227.4 million, Argentina, with $148.8 million, Chile, with $118.1 million, and Columbia, with $106 million.
Viet Nam's major exports in the Latin American market are footwear, with export value of $630.8 million in 2011, fishery products, with value of $253.7 million, apparel products, with value of $185.9 million and catfish, $254.2 million.
Nguyen Duy Khien, head of the American Market Department, said Vietnamese exporters still faced some disadvantages in the market, including language barriers, lack of market information, expensive transport costs and trade protection barriers.
Very few Vietnamese businessmen can use Latin America's main languages, including Spanish and Portuguese.
Both Vietnamese and Latin American businesses often do not have up-to-date market information.
Due to geographical conditions, transport costs are too expensive for Vietnamese enterprises' payment ability.
To realise these new targets, the MoIT has developed new measures that would help Vietnamese commodities cover the entire Latin American market.
Khien said that local companies must work together and expand their market share in traditional markets in the Latin American region.
Exporters should diversify by introducing new products such as building materials, porcelain, mechanical engineering products, high technology and high value-added consumer goods.
Khien explained that some newly emerging economies in the Latin American region were in a great need of commodities, materials and machines to serve consumers.
He also said there was a need to further promote the provision of information on Vietnamese enterprises and Vietnamese products for Latin American enterprises.
Overseas Vietnamese in Latin American countries should be encouraged to participate in advertising Vietnamese goods in the Latin American market.
Authorised agencies should create opportunities for Vietnamese enterprises to access updated information on the Latin American market as well as its development potential. — VNS