Viet Nam News
HCM CITY — Vietnamese firms should look to export more to ASEAN member countries to take advantage of the huge market and low tariffs, a conference heard in HCM City on November 22.
Nguyễn Phúc Nam, deputy head of the Ministry of Industry and Trade’s Asia-Africa market department, said ASEAN markets are developing strongly and have large populations, a stable political climate and commitment to abolishing tariffs.
Brunei, Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia, the Philippines and Thailand have high demand for agriculture and fisheries items, but also tough competition and technical barriers to entry, he said.
Cambodia, Laos and Myanmar are geographically close to Việt Nam, Vietnamese goods are highly regarded there, and they are welcoming of FDI, but their policies and workforce are not very well developed, he said.
Vietnamese firms need to continue to improve their technologies and product quality, work more closely with distribution channels in target markets and take part in trade facilitation events, he said.
Phạm Bình An, director of the HCM City International Integration Support Centre, said not many Vietnamese companies are taking advantage of the low tariffs due to either lack of knowledge about the markets or inability to navigate the complicated procedures.
Vietnamese businesses have to be more active in assessing potential markets, tariff reduction regulations and potential partners and improving their networking through business groups, he said.
The Government should apprise firms about tariff reduction progress and market information and improve administrative formalities.
Hanif Salim, the Indonesian consul general in HCM City, said his country welcomes co-operation with Vietnamese firms and is looking for investment in infrastructure, industrial production, agriculture, tourism and the maritime sector.
Last year, Việt Nam exported around US$21.7 billion worth of goods to ASEAN members and imported $28 billion worth. — VNS