Export revenues by Ho Chi Minh City-based enterprises in the first six months of the year reached 19.6 billion USD, a 9.2 percent increase year-on-year (Photo: VNA)
 
HCM City (VNA) – Export revenues by Ho Chi Minh City-based enterprises in the first six months of the year reached 19.6 billion USD, a 9.2 percent increase year-on-year, according to the municipal People’s Committee.

Of the figure, industrial products accounted for 13 billion USD, or nearly 77 percent.

Exports of computers, electronic products and components were worth 6 billion USD, an increase of 43 percent.

Exports of textiles and garments were worth more than 2.6 billion USD and agricultural products accounted for nearly 1.8 billion USD.

Meanwhile, the city-based businesses spent 24.82 billion USD on imports, up 9.4 percent year-on-year, resulting in a trade deficit of 5.2 billion USD.

With the EU-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA) coming into effect, Vietnamese enterprises have major opportunities to expand their export markets.

Nguyen Lam Vien, general director and chairman of agricultural company Vinamit, said the EVFTA would enable Vietnamese firms to export goods at zero tax, penetrate new markets and learn and improve product quality.

“Vinamit is completing procedures to participate in a trade fair in Germany in September to promote Vietnam's clean agricultural products. We have the advantage of organic foods and a lot of potential in the clean agriculture sector, and so the opportunity to introduce clean agricultural products to the European market is one we cannot ignore.”

Pham Thai Binh, general director of Trung An Hi-tech Agriculture Joint Stock Company, said his company exports a few thousand tonnes of rice a year to various markets in the EU such as France, Germany and Switzerland.

He hoped the EVFTA would improve the opportunities for the rice industry and exporters.

This year the Vietnamese seafood sector has increased its exports to the EU by more than 30 percent thanks to improvements in quality. The EVFTA is set to give exports a further boost.

Economist Nguyen Tri Hieu said the EVFTA would bring both opportunities and challenges to Vietnamese firms, and their products could only compete with European meat, milk and other agricultural product based on quality and price.

The city customs department has said to help enterprises expand their exports, it would streamline procedures.

It is now looking at ways to reduce the cargo clearance time by 50-70 percent.-VNA