HA NOI — Vietnamese items such as garments and textiles, footwear, wooden furniture and toys have the advantage of cheap labour cost for export to the US, those attending a conference on "the US market- Opportunities for Viet Nam's enterprises" heard yesterday.
The conference, held in Ha Noi, aimed to introduce opportunities for Vietnamese businesses to penetrate the market. It also focused attention on how enterprises could bypass obstacles in exporting to the market.
Speaking at the event, Nguyen Duy Khien, director of the Ministry of Industry and Trade's American Market Department, said US businesses often focus on high-tech products.
They therefore tended to outsource their manufacturing in other countries or import labour-intensive items.
Khien said most US companies had taken advantage of their strengths, such as marketing and developing products, while outsourcing production.
Le Xuan Duong, director of the Trade Promotions Depart-ment's Export Support Centre, said there was a great opportunity for Vietnamese products in the US market due to high demand from the Vietnamese community.
"This could be a bridge to bring Vietnamese goods into the market," Duong said.
A recent survey of the US community showed that there were 1.7 million Vietnamese living in the US, accounting for 10 per cent of the total Asian people living in the US.
This makes it the fourth largest overseas community in the country after China, India and the Philippines.
He added that Vietnamese food options in the US were limited and Vietnamese immigrants often had to buy products from China, Thailand and South Korea.
Experts said businesses exporting low value products to faraway markets with high transportation and transaction costs would not be able to stay competitive.
They recommended that companies improve their designs and packaging to reduce transportation costs and use online services to approach the market in a more efficient and cost-effective manner. — VNS