Last updated: Tuesday, February 19, 2019


Adopting “Export Leadership” Strategy for Sustainable Trade Growth

Posted: Wednesday, May 09, 2018

Vietnam has 29 exports bringing home at least US$1 billion each, with the biggest topping US$45 billion. If the country manages to increase shipments of these exports, it is likely to reach US$500 billion of trade value in the near term.

Speaking at the National Conference on Comprehensive Solutions for Export Promotion held in late April, Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc said we need to work out strategic areas to have “leading exports” to sustain trade growth in the coming time. He said, we can realise the target of US$500 billion of trade value a year in the near term if we know how to boost shipments of these 29 billion-dollar exports. This is the core of the “export leader” strategy aimed to sustain trade growth.

The strategy will go with such innovative ideas as building specially strategic production areas in potential localities like Ha Giang and Tuyen Quang to expand orange farming zones and build processing plants; in Lang Son province to grow sugar apples; in Hung Yen to cultivate litchi; and in Ca Mau to farm shrimps. Prime Minister Phuc suggested the conference that “We must change our strategic approach and take quick action on import and export to move up.” He thought that sustainable development must be built on cooperation for mutual development and mutual benefits.

In the near future, in order to deliver on the goal of US$425 billion of import and export value in 2018, five major issues and nine solutions were particularly recommended by Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc. Particularly, Vietnam focuses on enhancing export value and accelerating its participation in global value chains instead of just engaging in only processing; seeks initiatives to remove major bottlenecks in exportation; have clear and transparent information mechanisms to help businesses catch information about foreign markets and anticipate opportunities and risks as well. Notably, Vietnam needs a systematic national export strategy. Removing barriers and eliminating bottlenecks is also a great solution that needs to be implemented immediately.

The Prime Minister asked ministries and central branches to concentrate on solutions to clear difficulties against enterprises in tax, charge, customs, business expense, specialised inspection, and modern logistics system development. Business cost reduction was cited by the Prime Minister as an urgent solution because the cost of production capital in Vietnam is too high amid the existence of unofficial costs.

Regarding the expansion of market and distribution channels, the Prime Minister suggested penetrating into distribution channels administered by global retailers. Local enterprises need to focus on improving product quality to promote exports through this effective distribution channel in parallel with direct export channels.

He added that Vietnam needs a comprehensive export promotion strategy, not a patchwork for development. To increase the added value in exports, it urgently needs to support Vietnamese businesses to cooperate with FDI firms to join global value chains. It should study on barriers to this connectivity to provide concrete solutions, even revisions to Decrees 111 and 215 on supporting industries, as 75 per cent of export turnover comes from the FDI sector. As a result, a good cooperation with this sector will raise Vietnam’s added value.

Remarking on market trends in 2018, Minister of Industry and Trade Tran Tuan Anh said that export opportunities are huge but risky. Global trade in 2018 is expected to pick up although unpredictable changes loom large because of diplomatic and trade tensions among major economies, which may spark trade wars among them. Protectionism is returning and becoming clearer. Stricter food safety and environmental protection standards are applied. For example, the European Union (EU) tightened regulations on pesticide residues for imported agricultural products, imposed EU rules to combat illegal fishing (IUU) and forest law enforcement, governance and trade (FLEGT) programme. Many countries issued regulations on traceability.

Nguyen Thanh

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