Farmers harvest pepper in Chu Se district, the Central Highlands province of Gia Lai (Photo: VNA) 

Hanoi (VNA) - The Government will review Vietnam’s farming products – such as seafood, rice, vegetables, pepper, coffee, cashew nuts and rubber, and Halal products for Muslim people - in order to increase exports to ASEAN member states.

The review will also include building material, steel and steel products in order to promote trade activities with the bloc.

According to an announcement this week by the Government Office, the Ministry of Industry and Trade (MOIT) has been tasked with disseminating trade regulations and commitments to ASEAN to raise awareness of managers, businesses and people about the opportunities and challenges in those markets.

Deputy Prime Minister Trinh Dinh Dung told a recent meeting about trade relations between Vietnam and ASEAN that he had also asked the ministry to identify the demand for goods in ASEAN markets and analyse the competitiveness of markets with similar economic conditions and production capacity as Vietnam’s. Based on the analysis, the ministry will identify which products have an advantage for export to ASEAN countries.

The MOIT will also organise trade promotion activities with the participation of relevant associations and enterprises to seek new business opportunities and partners. The deputy PM also demanded that the ministry update market information and introduce Vietnamese products to foreign markets, as well as organising annual fairs in potential markets to advertise images and trademarks of Vietnam’s enterprises and commodities.

He requested that the MOIT work with relevant agencies to create favorable conditions for Vietnamese businesses to build distribution systems abroad, as well as enter into and establish long-term strategic partnerships with distribution chains in the ASEAN member nations.

Meanwhile, the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development and the Ministry of Science and Technology will review trade barriers of importing nations, especially those concerning quarantine and food quality and safety, and work with authorised bodies in the importing countries to solve difficulties in exporting goods from Vietnam to those countries, especially farming products, Deputy PM Dung said.

According to the General Department of Customs, the export value from Vietnam to ASEAN markets in the first half of this year dropped by 12.8 percent year-on-year to 8.08 billion USD, while import value to Vietnam from ASEAN fell by 4.8 percent year-on-year to 11.38 billion USD. The drop was due to declining commodity prices on the world market.-VNA