PM calls for new measures to boost exports

April 24, 2018 - 09:00

Prime Minister Nguyễn Xuân Phúc has affirmed that having more control over the market will help the Vietnamese economy to in the long run.

Footwear production at Đông Ấn Edi Co., Ltd’s factory in Đan Phượng District, Hà Nội. — VNA/VNS Photo Trần Việt
Viet Nam News

HÀ NỘI — Prime Minister Nguyễn Xuân Phúc has affirmed that having more control over the market will help the Vietnamese economy in the long run.

He made the statement during a national conference in Hà Nội yesterday, hosted by the Ministry of Industry and Trade, while discussing comprehensive measures to boost exports.

The PM said that successful countries and businesses considered the world as a market that they could exploit to expand their reaches, and thus they sought ways to improve their competitiveness.

The domestic market, with a population of more than 90 million, was important, but it was necessary to look at the global market to achieve sustainable growth, he said.

The leader noted that while administrative procedures had improved, they remained below international standards. He expressed his wish to listen to policy feedback from localities and associations, in order to increase the value of exported commodities, and make it easier for Vietnamese firms to join the global value chain.

He underscored the need to update Vietnamese exporters about market information and legal regulations abroad, as well as potential opportunities and risks, and orientations to manufacturing and exports.

Ministers, alongside leaders of localities, are to be required to look towards exports to contribute to sustainable growth. Based on public feedback, the PM will issue a directive on measures to boost manufacturing and exports.

At the conference, Minister of Industry and Trade Trần Tuấn Anh said the country’s exports grew by 15.8 per cent last year, exclusive of cell phones, computers and electronic spare parts.

In 2017, there were four new items that recorded export revenue of over US$1 billion, bringing the total number of items to 29. The number of items with an export revenue of over $2 billion was 20, while eight had an export revenue of over $6 billion.

Exported products of the processing industry continued to play an important role in export growth, accounting for more than 81 per cent of total exports, up sharply from 61 per cent in 2011. The proportion of agricultural and aquatic products decreased to 12.1 per cent. Meanwhile, export of crude, coal, petrol and minerals accounted for just 2 per cent of total export turnover.

“The export market was also expanded toward diversification and multilateralisation, especially for industrial goods,” Tuấn Anh said.

In 2017, the US market accounted for 20.6 per cent of exports of industrial goods, the European Union (EU) market accounted for 17.6 per cent, while China, Japan and South Korea combined accounted for close to 30 per cent.

The leader of the MoIT said that local firms had made good use of opportunities from integration.

Exports to countries that have signed free trade agreements with Việt Nam recorded high growth rate in 2017, such as ASEAN, increasing by 24.2 per cent to $21.68 billion. Exports to China were up by 61.5 per cent to $35.46 billion, while Japan climbed by 14.8 per cent to $16.8 billion and South Korea surged by 30 per cent to $14.8 billion.

The localisation rate in export products was also gradually improved. For example, in the textile sector, the localisation rate increased from15-17 per cent in 2000 to over 50 per cent in 2017.

However, Tuấn Anh said exports still predominantly relied on foreign-invested enterprises, which contributed over 70 per cent of the country’s total export value, up 23 per cent against 2016.

Though tariffs have been removed, Việt Nam’s farm produce such as milk, pork, fruits and vegetables still find it hard to enter foreign markets, he said.

The MoIT proposed three major measures to sustainably step up exports, including restructuring agriculture, closely controlling supply, and gradually improving the quality of agricultural and aquatic products.

It will also work to maintain stable export markets, improve the efficiency of trade promotion, and cope with trade defence and protectionism that are not in line with international commitments.

At the same time, the ministry will step up institutional reform, refine legal corridors for export activities, accelerate administrative reform, and clear barriers to payment and credit to ensure there is sufficient capital for manufacturing and export, the minister added. — VNS