ASEAN KEY DESTINATIONS
EU trade protections snag products
Many Vietnamese products, including garments, have found it hard to enter the EU because of trade protection and quality control policies. The issue is exacerbated by the debt crisis in several EU countries.
According to the Viet Nam Garments and Apparel Association (Vitas), in the first six months of this year, turnover of Viet Nam's garments exported to the EU – one of Viet Nam's biggest export markets for garments – increased by only 1 percent to US$680 million. However, export turnover for April and May dropped by nearly 3 per- cent over the same period last year.
Meanwhile, the country's garment exports to its two other major export markets of the U.S. and Japan have seen positive signs with a 15 percent growth and a $2.7 billion export turnover to the US and a 10 percent growth that earned $515 million to Japan.
This positive trend can also be seen in the Republic of Korea and other Asean markets with respective growths of 40 percent and 20 percent.
In recent years, Viet Nam's garment exports to the US have enjoyed growth rates ranging from 17 to 30 percent while those to the EU increased by only 11-12 per cent. Tran Ngoc Quan, head of the EU desk under the Ministry of Industry and Trade's EU Marketing Department, said that not only garments producers but all Vietnamese businesses that export goods to the EU are facing difficulties.
According to trade experts, it will be hard for Viet Nam to increase its garment exports to the EU during the rest of this year as several regional economies such as Greece and Portugal have yet to see signs of recovery due to a sharp decrease in consumer confidence in the wake of the debt crisis.
In addition, the EU is a selective market with strict technical and quality regulations to protect EU consumers and businesses. Therefore, goods exported to this region usually face more barriers than other large markets
To overcome these obstacles, Vietnamese garments businesses are advised to create high-value products that can meet the EU requirements and speed up the implementation of advanced production technologies to increase their productivity and competitiveness.
They should also form alliances with large retailers and global importers, say experts.
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