November 2, 2007
VIETNAM-JAPAN : Trade
Trade to reach 12 billion USD
Bilateral trade between Japan and Viet Nam will reach 12 billion USD this year, according to the Ha Noi Young Business Association (HYBA).
The figure represents a year-on-year increase of 21 percent. Of the 12 million USD, Viet Nam is expected to post exports of 6.5-7 billion USD.
“For Viet Nam , Japan is a market with very good potential because it has big buying power, while Vietnamese products in Japan occupy just 1 percent of its total imports,” Dang Duc Dung, deputy chairman of HYBA said on October 30 at a meeting to share export experiences to Japan .
Furthermore, he said Japanese enterprises have started to pay Viet Nam more attention, while a number of Japanese enterprises have started to open representative offices here. As a result, now is a good opportunity for Vietnamese firms to promote trade with Japan , HYBA said.
According to Nguyen Bao, chief of the Asia Pacific Department, under the Ministry of Industry and Trade, seafood was single biggest export to Japan . Since 2004, shrimp exports, at 23 percent, have held the biggest market share.
Annual shrimp exports are worth 450 million USD, while squid exports to Japan , which rank fifth at 7.6 percent, are worth 92 million USD.
Combined, these two seafood exports are worth 550 million USD, representing over 18.3 percent of Viet Nam ’s total seafood exports.
“Previously, seafood exports to this market faced many difficulties in terms of hygiene requirements. But in recent years, the quality has risen markedly. It contributed significantly to the country’s exports, which helped Viet Nam grab the market share in this demanding market,” Bao said.
He added that timber products also had great export potential in Japan . At present, timber exports have grown on average by 13 percent annually, and last year were worth 286 million USD, making Japan the second biggest consumer behind China .
“At present, demand for timber products in this market is very high because [in Japan ] there is a domestic shortage of materials, while labour costs are high. As Japan begins importing more of this product then it could push up Viet Nam ’s total exports in future.”
Aside from textiles and garments, handicrafts and fresh vegetables also have enormous potential in Japan , Bao said. He advised Vietnamese enterprises to promote their products more in Japan , but warned that quality and hygiene standards had to be maintained.
“ Japan always welcomes Vietnamese exports and has provided channels to boost bilateral trade. JETRO hopes Viet Nam will be a regular supplier to our market in future,” Takano Koichi, deputy chief representatives of the Japan External Trade Organisation said.