ASEAN KEY DESTINATIONS
Vietnam's exports in 2014 are predicted to increase 10 per cent to US$145 billion thanks to an expansion into new markets and greater opportunities from new trade deals.
The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) agreement, which includes Vietnam, is currently being finalised, while five rounds of negotiations on a free trade agreement between Vietnam and the European Union (EU) were concluded recently. Other trade agreements are also expected to be concluded this year.
The opportunities for Vietnamese exporters to increase their market share will increase enormously as the 12 countries involved in the TPP agreement make up 40 per cent of global GDP and over 30 per cent of the total world export-import revenue, according to the minister of Industry and Trade, Vu Huy Hoang
Vietnam's Trade Counsellor in Belgium and Luxembourg, Vu Ba Phu, forecast that the EU would remain the biggest market for Vietnamese apparel, leather and agricultural products this year.
Phu said that once the Vietnam-EU free trade agreement comes into effect, Vietnamese enterprises would benefit from tariff preferences and fewer trade barriers. However, he urged local producers to improve product quality and design, and enhance their competitiveness to maintain markets.
Viet nam's Trade Counsellor in the United States (US), Dao Tran Nhan, noted that the US would continue to be Viet Nam's largest market and predicted that exports to the US were likely to expand 10 per cent this year.
However, Nhan also reminded enterprises of the difficulties in entering the US market because of various trade barriers, as well as anti-dumping and anti-subsidy lawsuits launched by the US against Viet Nam's high-revenue generating products, such as shrimp, tra fish and apparel.
Therefore, it was necessary for firms to update and study the country's new policies in several areas to maintain a steady stream of exports to the US, Nhan added.
Vice Chairman of the Vietnam Textile and Apparel Association Pham Xuan Hong said that Viet Nam would continue to remain a priority destination for textile and garment importers in light of their trend of reducing production in China and relocating to other countries, including Vietnam, in recent years.
Hong added that local garment producers were picking up the pace on plans to reduce raw material imports and processing to prepare for the country's participation in the TPP.
General Secretary of the Viet Nam Seafood Exporters and Producers Truong Dinh Hoe forecast that shrimp and tra fish would continue to account for the country's key exports in 2014.
Hoe expected seafood exports to the US to improve as a result of the removal of anti-dumping taxes. The association, this year, plans to launch an international exchange in Belgium to directly distribute Vietnamese seafood in the EU.
General Secretary of the Viet Nam Fruit Association Nguyen Van Ky is optimistic about fruit and vegetable exports this year as well, since global fruit and vegetable consumption is forecast to rise by 5 per cent.
Ky expects Vietnamese fruit exports to increase since more fruits, such as mango, litchi and longan, will qualify for exports to the US and Japan this year.
To capitalise on this opportunity, Ky urged Vietnamese fruit exporters to increase their investments in technology across the supply chain, from cultivation and harvesting to processing and preservation. — VNS
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