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Firms urged to promote exports

Update: April, 17/2015 - 08:02

Agricultural, forest and seafood products play a crucial part in the exports of Viet Nam. — Photo

HA NOI (VNS) — Exports play an important role in the country's economy, but have manifested unsustainable development, the Deputy Head of the Industry and Trade Ministry's Import and Export Department, Tran Thanh Hai, said.

Speaking at the Export Promotion Forum held at the scale of the 25th Viet Nam Expo 2015 yesterday, Hai said exports had continued to achieve 10 to 15 per cent growth during recent years, of which the group of industrial products had occupied two-thirds of export turnover, but its earning value had been very small.

The main reason was that the country's support industry had developed sluggishly, said Hai.

Hai took the Nike shoe brand as an example. A pair of Nike shoes made in Viet Nam was sold in the world market for between US$70 and 100. However, the producer earned only $5 to 10 or not more than 10 per cent of the value.

He explained that almost all materials, equipment and technology had been imported. Meanwhile, Vietnamese businesses contributed workers with lower costs and small investment in workshops – so that they offered a very low and unsustainable value.

Agricultural, forest and seafood products, which were also mostly produced by Vietnamese businesses, played a crucial part in the country's exports, but their total value was not higher than that of telephones, which had been contributed by foreign direct investment businesses.

In 2014, the export value of agricultural, forest and seafood products reached about $20 billion; $3.6 billion lower than telephones.

Expressing an opinion about the development of small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in Viet Nam, the Marketing Director of UPS Viet Nam, Nguyen Tran Nhu Hoa, emphasized the importance of logistics development in businesses.

She said Vietnamese businesses' logistics services were very weak, especially SMEs, who were unable to invest in this area, or businesses who only focused on production but had forgotten customer service.

The director of the ministry's Trade Promotion Department, Bui Huy Son, said businesses should invest in logistics. Its production cost would be higher and it could also earn bigger profits.

Son added that was necessary to concretise the impact on the market before Viet Nam could officially become a member of the ASEAN Economic Community, which would be established by the end of this year, as well as during free trade agreements in the future.

The country's export turnover was reported to have increased in the recent years. In 2014, the turnover touched nearly $150 billion, reflecting an increase of 13.6 per cent, compared with 2013. It was estimated to reach $171 billion this year, of which $73.37 billion would come from domestic wholly-invested businesses and $96.8 billion from foreign direct investment businesses.

The Deputy Director of the Central Institute for Economic Management, Vo Tri Thanh, said in the context that Viet Nam was going to take part in many free trade agreements this year, the country's exports would have a big opportunity of turning its export potential into reality.

Thanh said domestic businesses needed to improve competitive capacity and their products' added value in order to penetrate deep into the global added value chain.

At the forum, the experts also provided the most updated information for Vietnamese businesses to work out export promotion and development orientation and measures.

They discussed issues related to new export opportunities from bilateral and multilateral trade agreements, improving logistics-driven export competitiveness and export promotion measures to maximise market opportunities. — VNS

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