Free trade agreements help boost Tiền Giang Province exports

Monday, Oct 23, 2023 09:57

Employees at GODACO factory in Mỹ Tho Industrial Park, Tiền Giang Province processing pangasius for export. — VNA/VNS Photo

New-generation free trade agreements like the UK-Việt Nam FTA have been positive for Tiền Giang Province’s exports and foreign investments and helped create jobs, according to its Department of Industry and Trade.

Đặng Văn Tuấn, the department’s deputy director, said the province has seen an increase in exports from US$3.1 billion in 2021 to $3.9 billion in 2022 and $3.7 billion in the first nine months of this year.

Local businesses have exported to more than 120 countries and territories, with exports to the UK reaching $97 million last year, he said.

Rice, seafood, fruits, apparel, and footwear are among the key export items.

Lưu Văn Phi, the department’s director, said the province is home to more than 20 seafood export enterprises, including four large exporters.

They have exported items such as frozen pangasius fillets, whole pangasius, frozen pangasius butterfly, frozen fishes, canned crabs, sardine, fish cakes, surimi fish cakes, and frozen white pangasius slices for sushi to over 60 countries and territories, with Japan, China, Thailand, the US, Brazil, Canada, Netherlands, the UK, Belgium, and Australia being the major markets, he said.

The province earned $385.64 million from aquatic exports last year, a year-on-year increase of 56.12 per cent, and $396 million in the first eight months of 2023, up 51.2 per cent year-on-year.

Textile and garment exports were up by 24 per cent in the first eight months to $468 million thanks to inflation in key markets such as the US and EU cooling down and enterprises accepting export orders with low profit margins to maintain production and retain workers, according to the department.

Tuấn said foreign enterprises account for over 80 per cent of the province’s total exports, indicating that they take advantage of trade deals better than local ones.

The latter, mostly small and medium-sized enterprises with limited production capacity, have not paid much attention to the preferential treatment offered under the FTAs to boost exports, he said.

Phi said to help them tap the opportunities, his department would continue to popularize information about the EU-Việt Nam FTA, the UKVFTA and CPTPP.

It would also help enterprises participate in trade promotion activities at home and abroad and organise training courses to help improve their business capacity and build their brands, he said.   

He said businesses need to ensure the uphold of their exports, foster innovation to improve the competitiveness of their goods and take part in cross-border e-commerce by joining global platforms.

The UKVFTA was signed in 2020 and officially took effect in May 2021, and eliminates tariffs on 99 per cent of all goods traded between the two countries over the long term, providing a significant advantage to Vietnamese exporters. — VNS

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