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Better control of imports-exports needed to shelter VN from US-China trade war: seminar

Update: November, 18/2018 - 22:26
A panel discussion at a conference titled “US –China Trade War: Opportunities and Challenges for Vietnamese Enterprises” held in HCM City on November 16. — VNS Photo
Viet Nam News

HCM CITY — Authorities should closely monitor the import and export of goods for origin to prevent customs declaration fraud, a seminar heard in HCM City on Friday.

With the US-China trade war escalating, Chinese firms could ship their unfinished products to Việt Nam and then export them to the US through a Việt Nam-based firm as an intermediary to avoid tariffs, Ngô Võ Minh Hưng, business director of VIFON, warned.

This would affect Việt Nam, as evidenced by the case of steel originating in China but exported from Việt Nam, he said.

The US Department of Commerce had decided to slap tariffs on steel produced in Việt Nam using Chinese-origin materials, he said.

With the trade war causing difficulties for Chinese firms in exporting to the US, they would increase exports to other countries, including Việt Nam, putting big pressure on local producers, he said.

He called on related agencies to better monitor imports and exports to prevent the import of poor quality products and customs fraud.

Bùi Quang Tín, CEO of BizLight Business School, said Việt Nam was the only market among the US’s five trade partners with which it had a high trade deficit but had not imposed tariffs yet. But that could still happen, he warned.

If the US imposed punitive tariffs, the impact on the Vietnamese economy would be huge since the country had an “open” economy, he said.

Sử Ngọc Khương, investment director of Savills Vietnam, said the trade dispute between the US and China, two of Việt Nam’s top trading partners, could have both positive and negative impacts on the country.

When Chinese products are hit with US tariffs, Việt Nam can serve as an alternative supplier of several goods to the US, he said.

But other countries such as Thailand with similar products as Việt Nam also see it as an export opportunity, leading to an intense competition to sell to the US, he said.

Việt Nam’s seafood industry can achieve higher growth if it grabs the opportunities that might open up when the US switches from China to other sellers, he said.

The seminar also provided some useful tips for Vietnamese companies to help them avoid risks in international trading and suggested measures to boost exports to the US and China like carefully studying the markets, working with retailers and distributors there and others. — VNS



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