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VietNamNews

Hard-up businesses want trade protection

Update: August, 04/2012 - 07:57

HCM CITY — Businesses in HCM City are urging government agencies to create more technical barriers to trade to protect domestically manufactured goods from foreign competition.

Nguyen Quang Anh, chairman of the HCM City Plastics and Rubber Manufacturers Association, said the country's technical barriers were inadequate, leaving local industries vulnerable.

For example, the rubber industry must compete with products from Malaysia, Thailand and China, he said.

Local products have been faced with growing foreign competition since the ASEAN-China Free Trade Agreement took effect in Viet Nam and three other ASEAN countries in January 2010. (ASEAN now has 10-member countries.)

China and the six original members of ASEAN have already reduced tariffs to zero on 90 per cent of imported goods.

For Viet Nam, tariff reduction will be zero to 5 per cent on 90 per cent of imported goods by 2015. Tariffs would then be slashed to zero in 2018.

Many products from China and several other countries are competitive thanks to their low prices.

Enterprises involved in production of consumer products also have to cope with cheaper imports as well as illegally imported components that sell for low prices.

Vina Kitchen Appliances Company, for example, sells a small gas cooker for VND300,000 to 400,000, but similar products made with imported cheap kits sell much more cheaper, according to Do Hoai Nam, the company's marketing head.

He said the competition had created problems not only for businesses but also for consumers who buy shoddy products.

Nguyen Quoc Anh of the HCM City Enterprises Association said the association would work with government agencies to promote the establishment of more technical barriers to trade.

Over the last five years, Viet Nam had set up only a few technical barriers to trade, while global trade expanded greatly, according to Do Duc Chi of the city's Planning and Investment Department. — VNS

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