Trade Promotion in New Normal Status

9:49:32 AM | 7/1/2020

With respect to trade promotion in the context of the Covid-19 pandemic, Vietnam Business Forum had an interview with Mr. Le Hoang Tai, Deputy Director of Vietnam Trade Promotion Agency. Huong Ly reports.

How do you assess the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on domestic and foreign trade activities over the past time?

Since the beginning of 2020, due to the impact of the Covid-19 epidemic, trade promotion activities of enterprises, associations and localities across the country have faced many difficulties. Trade promotion is implemented in many countries/regions, and requires high connectivity and direct interaction between manufacturers, distributors, consumers, exporters and importers. Therefore, in the context of the Covid-19 epidemic, traditional trade promotion activities such as conferences, seminars, trade and exhibitions aimed at promoting trade and investment in Vietnam and important export markets like China, South Korea, Japan, EU and United States basically have had to be cancelled or postponed.

Trade promotion activities on the domestic market could not be done due to the social distancing requirements that have been lifted recently. According to statistics, 74 trade promotion projects in the National Program on Trade Promotion in 2020 (accounting for 30% of the total number of approved projects) have had to be canceled or delayed until the epidemic is under complete control.

Could you please tell us some solutions to support businesses to overcome difficulties caused by Covid-19?

With the firm guidance of the Minister of Industry and Trade, the Trade Promotion Agency has quickly piloted and renovated trade promotion support methods, helping export enterprises adapt to the circumstances, maintain connection with foreign partners on the spot as well as maintain activities of supply-demand connection in localities. With flexible, effective and timely adaptation to trade promotion, it has contributed to helping Vietnamese exporters and farmers to overcome difficulties from Covid-19.

Flexible trade promotion activities include: Enhance the application of information technology in trade promotion to improve the connection between enterprises and importers, consumers, trading systems; Build and provide databases on import-export enterprises urgently and promptly; Organize and coordinate online trade in the country and abroad; Build platforms to support enterprises in applying IT to connect supply and demand and export promotion.

In addition, the Trade Promotion Agency regularly guides and recommends localities, business associations, trade promotion organizations to immediately apply effective trade promotion methods during the Covid-19 pandemic, such as trade promotion through the digital platform, e-commerce environment, exploiting IT applications such as computer software, phone applications, e-commerce websites, electronic trading platforms in trade promotion activities; speeding up information, communication activities to promote export products, connecting online trade between Vietnamese enterprises and partners wishing to import, propagating and promoting Vietnam’s businesses and products in the country and the world. These are trade promotion activities less affected by the disease, replacing the traditional trade promotion activities which are stalled, and also a preparation step to promote export promotion activities right after the pandemic is controlled.

The central issue in trade promotion activities is to enhance the capacity of enterprises and the competitiveness of products to participate deeply in the global value chain. Could you please tell us about related business support mechanisms in the long term?

In the long term, we will focus on implementing many groups of solutions to improve the capacity of enterprises and export products of Vietnam. First of all, we will coordinate with the concerned ministries and branches in connecting local material areas with manufacturers and exporters to increase the value and processing content for export products.

On the other hand, a cooperation program with the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development and other relevant agencies is being strongly implemented to enhance propaganda and application of the Global Gap cultivation model to help businesses expand market with high requirements; encourage producers and enterprises to apply harvesting and post-harvest methods and techniques, raise technical standards on quality and deep processing content for Vietnamese export products.

The promotion of brand names, market and product information has also been strengthened to help businesses restructure production, improve product quality and meet export technical standards in markets that Vietnam has signed free trade agreements (FTAs) with.

In the framework of international cooperation projects, we focus on training, traceability consulting, consulting businesses on sustainable standards and green finance for businesses, and consulting on packaging design for businesses and cooperatives.

Even in the context of the Covid-19 epidemic, you have pioneered many online trading sessions to introduce Vietnamese products to partners such as the U.S., China and Singapore. How do you assess these programs?

We have organized many online trade programs for a variety of Vietnam's products to many markets in the world such as Guangxi, Yunnan, Shandong, Chongqing (China); the United States, Singapore and India. Online connection is an effective way to help Vietnamese businesses maintain contacts and transactions with foreign partners, thereby looking for opportunities to boost trade and expand the export market while reducing efforts, time and promotion costs. Moreover, the form of online connection not only helps businesses find partners, but also helps businesses stabilize production, ready to boost export goods as soon as the epidemic ends and the market reopens.

At the online trade programs, many Vietnamese businesses have initially connected, cooperated and signed contracts. These are positive signals to help businesses with production incentives to boost exports.

In the coming time, we will continue to organize online trade programs with businesses from other provinces and cities of China such as Zhejiang and Guangzhou, and other countries such as Japan, Korea, Turkey and the Netherlands, to support more Vietnamese businesses to increase access to partners and foreign markets.

Source: Vietnam Business Forum