Do Thang Hai, director of the Ministry of Industry and Trade's Trade Promotion Agency, spoke to the newspaper Doanh Nhan Viet Nam Toan Cau (Global Vietnamese Businessmen)
Please, tell us some outstanding activities which yielded good results for businesses as well as Viet Nam's image abroad in 2011?
The Ministry of Industry and Trade and the Trade Promotion Agency organised many large-scale promotional activities in 2011, including the China-ASEAN Trade Fair which consisted of 192 booths and led to the signing of contracts worth US$300 million; the International Viet Nam-China Trade Fair (more than 700 booths and contracts worth $201million); and the International Trade Fair for household decorations and gifts (contracts worth $14 million).
|A Vietnamese enterprise stall at the JATA Travel Showcase held in Tokyo, Japan. Taking part in promotional activities in foreign countries will pave the way to world markets for Vietnamese enterprises. — VNA/VNS Photo Thanh Tung
Other activities, such as the European Seafood Fair in Brussels, the WSA Show in Las Vegas on footwear and accessories, and surveys and promotions for Vietnamese coffee in Poland and Belgium, have also brought about good results.
Taking part in promotional activities in other countries is the fastest way to advertise the trademarks of Vietnamese goods, help enterprises maintain and strengthen ties with clients, and look for new potential customers.
The activities also help enterprises assess market trends as well as consumers' demands to build up their strategies for production, resources, technology renewal, product improvement, and so on.
Could you speak about advantages and disadvantages of supporting enterprises that look for opportunities to increase trade and provide services in both domestic and foreign markets?
Viet Nam's promotional work has yielded better proficiency in recent years but compared with other countries, Viet Nam still faces many difficulties. These include the unstable and possibly decreasing funds for this work, the limited capacity in launching promotional activities, and the low production and business capabilities of enterprises who take part in promotional activities.
As the funds reserved for promotional activities are very limited, how do we overcome the difficulty and socialise these activities?
On average, countries allocate 0.11 per cent of their export value to promotional activities, according to the World Bank. Meanwhile, Viet Nam's funds for the work were just VND55billion ($2.7million) in 2011, or 0.0036 per cent of its export value, equal to 1/30 of the world average.
Also, the State budget for the work has been reduced while the business circle's demand is on the rise. At the same time, we are tasked to further expand promotional activities in the domestic market, including border and island areas besides overseas market. In this circumstance, enterprises' contributions are of primary importance. — VNS