The southern province of Binh Duong raked in about five billion USD in export revenue in the first five months of this year, a year-on-year rise of 16 percent.

Of the figure, the domestic sector earned 820 million USD, an increase of 5.2 percent over the same period last year, while FDI enterprises contributed four billion USD, up 18.6 percent. The result is an 812 million USD trade surplus in five months.

According to Binh Duong Association of Exporters and Importers President Phan Van Xo, the results are attributable to local enterprises’ right choice of focusing on the low-end market in the context of economic difficulties.

He said 156 member companies of the association, particularly those operating in garments and textiles and footwear, have received orders that will see them through the whole year.

As one of 15 export staples of Binh Duong, footwear has proven its vitality in the market. Notably, Thai Binh Shoes Company exported over five million pairs of shoes in the first five months of this year. Its target is to produce 14-16 million pairs in 2013, ensuring income for nearly 17,000 workers.

According to Le Hong Phoa, President of the Binh Duong Garment and Textile Association, although the first five months of this year have been good, with an export revenue of about 600 million USD (a year-on-year rise of 7.3 percent), the sector is encountering difficulties in sourcing materials, leading to lower profit.

Phan Van Xo said along with the negative impacts caused by the economic situation, Binh Duong exporters are challenged by technical barriers, especially since Vietnam joined the World Trade Organisation.

He pointed out two major reasons behind the situation, a lack of an adequate legal framework and domestic enterprises’ limitations in scale, finance and technology.

According to Xo, FDI businesses, with their advantage in scale, capital, technology and customers, are leaving domestic firms far behind.

He suggested that more investment in infrastructure and favourable conditions are needed for domestic exporters to narrow the gap between them and their FDI competitors.

Binh Duong’s target for 2013 is an export growth of over 20 percent and earnings between 15-16 billion USD.-VNA