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NEWS UPDATES 15 September 2010

Industrial exports remain uncompetitive

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Industrial exports have continued to grow 15-20 percent annually over the past decade but Vieynamese products continued to account for just 0.74 per cent of the global market, according to the Ministry of Planning and Investment.

Industrial exports in the first eight months of the year reached nearly US$23 billion, an increase of 16 percent over the same period a year ago, the ministry reported.

However, the increase was driven largely by higher prices rather than higher export volume, with a number of export staples, including crude oil and coal, actually declining in volume.

The ministry blamed not only the sluggish recovery of the global economy, but also out-of-date production technologies that have caused Vietnamese products to lag in competitiveness.

Traditional products from labour-intensive industries continued to account for almost 60 percent of industrial output, with many of these industries highly dependent on imported raw materials.

Meanwhile, hi-tech products made up only 10 percent of the nation's total industrial exports.

Former Minister of Trade Truong Dinh Tuyen said Viet Nam's industrial sector consisted mostly of processing and assembly and support industries had been slow to develop.

Tuyen expressed concern that foreign-invested factories might withdraw from the Vietnamese market if they were unable to find local suppliers of spare parts.

Rising labour costs were eroding this traditional advantage of Vietnamese industry for foreign investors, he noted.

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