Viet Nam News
HÀ NỘI – Việt Nam has become a big importer for goods from ASEAN countries seven months after joining in ASEAN Economic Community (AEC), Deputy Prime Minister Vương Đình Huệ has said.
Huệ told a conference on the country’s international integration in Hà Nội last week that Việt Nam saw big trade deficits with Malaysia, Singapore and Thailand. The country reported a small trade surplus with Laos, Cambodia and Myanmar.
He said Thailand surpassed South Korea to become the biggest automobile exporter to Việt Nam though the tax on the product has not reduced to zero under AEC’s commitments. India has also been a potential rival.
Statistics from General Statistics Office showed that in the first seven months of the year, the total import-export turnover among Việt Nam and ASEAN countries was US$22.8 billion, posting 8.3 per cent year-on-year decrease. Of this, Việt Nam’s exports to the countries reduced 12.3 per cent to $9.6 billion while its imports was 13.2 billion, making a trade deficit of $3.6 billion.
Huệ wondered whether the risk could be prolonged or not. He also asked the government to conduct studies and analyses on the risks for solutions to resolve the situation.
Deputy Minister of Industry and Trade Trần Quốc Khánh said ASEAN or ASEAN+ markets have not brought clear benefits to Việt Nam as most of the partners have similar and competitive economic structures in their countries.
In addition, local businesses have not been known to exploit opportunities from signed trade agreements. Several Vietnamese firms have not themselves sought partners. They have also not paid attention to tax reduction and removal as they still depended on middlemen, Khánh said.
He suggested that the government should encourage and facilitate businesses such as Vinamilk, TH True Milk, Minh Phú and Vĩnh Hoàn, which have good investments in foreign markets.
He added that Việt Nam should choose markets which have a supplemental economic structure.
In reality, some markets such as Japan and South Korea which have a supplemental economic structure, have helped Việt Nam’s narrow trade gap with the countries.
Nguyễn Thế Phương, Deputy Minister of Planning and Investment shared the ideas, adding that the government should have solutions to improve competitiveness in each product and sector to help Việt Nam have enough capacity in international integration.
“We could be lost in the ASEAN market if we do not enhance our competitiveness,” Phương said.
Việt Nam has to date established trade ties with over 200 countries and territories. More than 100 countries and territories are running investment projects in Việt Nam, while domestic firms are also investing in projects in more than 70 nations and territories. – VNS