|Containers transporting agricultural products to China via Kim Thành International Border Gate No 2. Online trade procedures are being increased to accelerate export which has suffered heavily due to the COVID-19 pandemic. – VNA/VNS Photo Quốc Khánh|
HÀ NỘI – Online trade connections between Vietnamese firms and import partners were being increased together with trade promotion activities to accelerate post-pandemic export, Deputy Minister of Industry and Trade Đỗ Thắng Hải said.
Việt Nam’s trade slumped in April because of COVID-19 after posting positive growth in the first three months of this year.
Statistics showed Việt Nam’s export revenue last month dropped by 18.4 per cent against March to US$197 billion, a 3.5 per cent decrease over the same period last year.
Việt Nam saw declines in April to all major export markets including ASEAN which was down 20 per cent against March, China by 2.9 per cent, Japan by 9.3 per cent, the Republic of Korea 13.7 per cent, Europe by 28.6 per cent and the US 24.1 per cent.
The Ministry of Industry and Trade predicted the impact of the pandemic would be more apparent in the second quarter of this year since because from mid-March the US, EU and Japan were hit hard by the virus.
According to the ministry, COVID-19 affected Việt Nam’s export in five main ways.
The first was a sharp drop in demand for goods. Since March, when the disease had a serious global effect, measures were taken to control the spread.
Many import partners postponed planned orders for April and May and had not begun negotiations for orders from June onwards.
Other aspects were restrictions in trade exchanges, slowness in customs clearance due to quarantine requirements and cancellations which put companies under a lot of pressure.
Falling prices also negatively affected Việt Nam’s export. For example, cashew prices fell by 12.9 per cent, coffee by 2.2 per cent, tea by 13.1 per cent, pepper by 19 per cent, crude oil by 77.3 per cent.
Hải said that moving online is crucial for Việt Nam to seek new partners and accelerate exports.
In addition, focus would be placed on removing difficulties to facilitate trade with China.
Regarding long-term solutions, the ministry will develop a trade database to improve trade connectivity.
The ministry is also hastening the procedures for the approval of the EU-Việt Nam Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA) as well as issuance of instructions for implementing the trade deal effectively.
At the same time, administrative and customs procedures would be further simplified to create favourable conditions for trade, Hải said. – VNS