VN exports to run into global headwinds

Tuesday, Oct 13, 2015 22:02

Textile and garment exports were expected to rise sharply due to high demand. — Photo

HCM CITY – Viet Nam's exports of many key products in the remaining months this year are expected to be lower than a year ago due to fierce competition in the world market, the Ministry of Industry and Trade (MoIT) has warned.

Exports in the first nine months are estimated at US$120.7 billion, a year-on-year increase of 9.6 per cent, despite a sharp fall in value of many product groups due to pressure on prices.

Exports of fuel and minerals, for instance, were down 45.5 per cent year-on-year, while earnings from agro-forestry and fisheries exports fell by 9.9 per cent, the ministry said.

It blamed the fall in prices on the decline of some economies and financial market volatility, especially a depreciation of many countries' currencies, including Thailand, Malaysia, and India.

Abundant supply was another reason, it said.

According to Tran Thi Thuy Hoa, general secretary of the Viet Nam Rubber Association, the rubber industry has made efforts to find new export markets, but exports face difficulties because supply outstrips demand.

But despite the challenges ahead this year, the ministry said the country's total exports would reach $165-166 billion, an increase of 10 per cent over last year and meeting the target set by the National Assembly.

Imports were estimated to rise 16.5 per cent year-on-year to $171 billion, it said.

The released forecasts on the exports of some key items.

Speaking at a meeting in HCM City on Monday to review the export performance in the first nine months and set tasks for the remaining months, Deputy Minister of Industry and Trade Tran Tuan Anh said textile and garment exports were expected to rise sharply in the fourth quarter thanks to high demand.

The product's exports for the year are estimated to top $23 billion, a year-on-year increase of 10 per cent.

There have been some good signs for rice exports recently with the country winning contracts to export rice to the Philippines and Indonesia.

Anh said exports of the grain would therefore be better than in the year-to-date. Rice exports for the whole year are expected to be around 6.5 million tonnes worth $2.8 billion, up 2.7 per cent in volume but down 4.6 per cent in value from last year.

Rubber exports are likely to reach 1.1 million tonnes valued at $1.6 billion, an increase of 3.2 per cent in volume over last year but a 10 per cent fall in value.

Some 1.4 million tonnes of coffee will be exported this year for $2.8 billion, a decrease of 17.2 per cent and 21.3 per cent respectively.

To achieve the year's export growth target of 10 per cent, Anh said his ministry would co-operate with business groups to resolve hardships faced by companies.

The ministry said it would also strengthen export promotion and speed up negotiations with other countries for mutual recognition of product quality,.

It would improve access to market information to enable businesses to enter key export markets, it added.

Participants at the meeting called on authorities to improve the business environment and national competitiveness.

According to Le Phuoc Vu, chairman of Hoa Sen Group, with international economic integration, when tariff barriers are reduced, countries tend to use technical barriers and trade defense instruments like anti-dumping and anti-subsidy duties.

Thus, Vietnamese goods not only face intense price competition but also the risk of losing market share because of trade defence lawsuits, he said.

Authorities needed to take practical action to help companies mitigate the risks involved in trade and expand their export markets in order to avoid excessive dependence on traditional markets, he said.

He urged relevant ministries to quickly come out with industrial standards and technical barriers to prevent sub-standard goods from entering the Vietnamese market.

Mai Thi Anh Tuyet, director of the An Giang Province Department of Industry and Trade, said companies operating in agro-forestry and fisheries were in a very difficult situation and direly need Government support, especially with funding. - VNS

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