A garment production line for exports. Vietnamese products' export value has been low despite of high turnover. — VNA/VNS Photo Danh Lam
The low added value of Vietnamese exported products despite the high export turnover is a huge concern for the country, those attending forum in Ha Noi on Thursday heard.
Viet Nam’s exports have rapidly increased in the past few years. Last year, turnover was US$176 billion, an increase of nine per cent from the previous year.
Statistics from the Ministry of Industry and Trade revealed that total export turnover in the first quarter of this year reached nearly $44.5 billion, posting a year-on-year increase of 15 per cent.
Tran Thanh Hai, deputy head of the ministry’s Import-Export Department, raised his concern about Vietnamese products’ position in the value chain.
“Viet Nam’s industrial production has not been a key chain globally,” Hai said.
Nguyen Van Nam, director of the Institute for Brand and Competitiveness Strategy, gave an example about Viet Nam producing a lot of coffee; yet exporting at a price of only $2 per kilo while foreign importers sold it at $200 per kilo.
Nam said Viet Nam should pay attention to both export turnover and sustainable development factors.
"The commercial stage (including product consumption and sales) is very important to improve value of exported products. If we continue to export in the old way of seeking a market after making the products, we would fail and be forced to sell products at low prices," he said, adding that unorganised trade promotion would affect both producers and consumers.
However, Vo Tri Thanh, former deputy director of the Central Institute for Economic Management, said not all enterprises are involved in all stages of the value chain. Each firm needs to join in one or two stages but create high added value.
“Enterprises should better implement what they have been doing by increasing productivity. Our research has revealed that if local firms change their management methods, productivity would rise by 10-15 per cent,” Thanh said.
Experts also believe special attention should be paid to the export of agricultural products in terms of policies and investments as Viet Nam has the advantage of diversified natural resources and abundant workforce.
In addition, the development of hi-tech agriculture would open new opportunities for the export of agricultural products.
The forum aimed at creating opportunity for businesses, policymakers and experts to discuss ways to increase Viet Nam’s export value, developing markets and trade promotion. — VNS