The export of plastic products is forecast to help the country gain an annual turnover of 1.35 billion USD, up 35 percent over last year, according to the Ministry of Industry and Trade.

Exports will be directed at mainly the EU, Japanese, Chinese and other Asian markets.

On the European market, demand for Vietnamese plastic products, especially pipes, has remained high. The ministry estimated that the bloc will spend roughly 275 million USD on local plastic this year, up 36.5 percent over last year.

Turnover of plastic exports to Japan is also expected to hit 255 million USD this year.

The ministry said that worldwide demand for plastic products is rising sharply, especially on the South East Asian market, estimated to reach 100 billion USD yearly. To seize this opportunity, the domestic plastic industry must improve to compete against products from China and India . Due to a dependence on imported materials, a shortage of capital and backward technology, the prices of Vietnamese plastic products are often 10-15 percent higher than that of India and China .

Former director of the Central Institute for Economic Management, Le Dang Doanh, recommended that domestic plastic producers join hands with foreigner partners in producing high quality and competitive products alongside further exploiting rural areas of foreign markets.

On the Japanese market, the largest importer of Vietnamese plastic products for the past few years, exports have remained modest due to a lack of experience, information and strict regulations on quality.

Local producers should reinforce links with trade and international organisations in the Japanese market to gain support in consultation, information, product requirements and administrative procedures./.