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Local exporters urged to make most of eager overseas markets

Update: September, 07/2013 - 10:12
Workers prepare agriculture products for export at northern Lao Cai International Border gate.— VNA/VNS Photo Tran Viet
HA NOI (VNS)— The Ministry of Industry and Trade has urged Vietnamese exporters to reap the gains of Free Trade Agreements (FTA) by tapping into foreign markets.

Speaking at a conference on FTAs in Ha Noi on Wednesday, Ministry of Industry and Trade representative, Hoang Van Phuong, emphasised the importance of Viet Nam's economic integration with global trade.

Phuong said only 33 per cent of Vietnamese goods exported to FTA countries enjoyed preferential tariffs from the agreement.

He said Viet Nam's average growth rate of exports to members of the ASEAN community; China, South Korea, Japan, Australia, New Zealand and India, was more than 20 per cent while that of exports to the world market was 15 per cent.

He added that businesses would be more able to meet export potential by meeting requirements for Certificates of Origin (CO).

Statistics from the ministry showed that export turnover using COs last year reached US$18 billion, accounting for 33.6 per cent of exports under Viet Nam's FTAs.

Deputy head of the ministry's Import-Export Department Tran Thanh Hai said a sharp decrease in tariffs would provide opportunities for Vietnamese businesses to boost exports.

Viet Nam's exports to FTA markets have seen high growth in recent years, with the country's exports to ASEAN rising 27 per cent in 2012.

In the same year, exports to Japan jumped 25 per cent, while trade with China and South Korea increased 17 and 18 per cent respectively.

Viet Nam has signed eight FTAs, including eight ASEAN nations and Chile.

Meanwhile, the country has been an active participant in negotiations for the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), while conducting FTAs negotiation with the EU and South Korea.

In spite of these developments, Vietnamese businesses continue to struggle to take advantage of such agreements.

Hai said several enterprises have not paid attention to changing tariffs and were not investing or restructuring to meet C/O standards.

The ministry said they would continue to support multilateral trade under the WTO to access to trade markets. — VNS

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