|Many countries have applied trade defence instruments, including anti-dumping, anti-subsidy and safeguards against Viet Nam's exports. — Photo vov
HCM CITY (VNS)— Vietnamese firms have been urged to learn more about trade defence instruments allowed under the WTO and cooperate in the use of trade defence instruments to protect domestic production, a seminar heard yesterday in HCM City.
Nguyen Phuong Nam, deputy head of the Viet Nam Competition Authority under the Ministry of Industry and Trade, said a series of free trade agreements would offer huge opportunities for Vietnamese firms to boost exports.
On the other hand, under these FTAs', the country will have to open its markets to imports, which can create challenges.
Many countries have applied trade defence instruments, including anti-dumping, anti-subsidy and safeguards against Viet Nam's exports.
Statistics from the VCA show that export products faced 98 lawsuits related to trade defence between 1994 and October this year in foreign markets.
Trade defence lawsuits affect export companies' competitiveness and exports, often causing them to lose markets, according to Pham Huong Giang, deputy head of the VCA's Trade Remedies Board.
In addition, companies have to spend huge amounts of money on lawsuits, and can be hit with high import tariffs for five years or more.
Domestic enterprises in many sectors like steel, spinning, paper and plastic face difficulties due to the inflow of imported products, especially from China.
But domestic firms have not paid enough attention to trade defence instruments to protect their sector.
As of October this year, Viet Nam has launched only one anti-dumping and three safeguard investigations into imported products.
"The knowledge of Vietnamese firms about trade defence remains limited, making it very difficult to apply or initiate lawsuits against imported products," Giang said.
Giang said limited financial and human resources and a foreign language barrier were among other factors hindering firms from initiating lawsuits related to trade defence.
Vu Van Thanh, Hoa Sen Group's deputy general director of finance, said according to regulations, to file a lawsuit, plaintiffs must account for at least 25 per cent of the market share of an industry.
Companies in the same sector should join in a group as the plaintiff, he said.
However, firms were reluctant to provide figures for the investigation involving trade defence, he said.
In addition, there were few domestic lawyers specialising in this field.
At the seminar, the VCA also spoke about necessary steps in preparing files to submit to the VCA on use of trade defence measures.
Giang said exporters should learn more about issues related to trade defence and use the VCA's Early Warning System on anti-dumping cases, to avoid facing trade defence lawsuits against their exports.
The seminar on effective use of trade defence remedies to protect domestic production was organised by the VCA, the Domestic Market Department and the Viet Nam Association of Women Entrepreneurs. — VNS