Businesses based in Ho Chi Minh City exported 38.32 billion USD worth of goods in 2018 (Photo: VNA)

HCM City (VNA) – Businesses based in Ho Chi Minh City recorded a year-on-year increase of 7.8 percent in their export revenue this year to reach 38.32 billion USD, according to the municipal Department of Industry and Trade.

Excluding crude oil, the figure stands at around 36.1 billion USD, up 11.1 percent, the department said at a meeting on December 27.

Meanwhile, about 47.33 billion USD worth of commodities were imported by local firms in 2018, up 9.3 percent.

Huynh Van Hanh, Vice Chairman of the Handicraft and Wood Industry Association of HCM City, said some opportunities and challenges have appeared in 2018 as a result of free trade agreements (FTAs) and the US-China trade war.

He urged ministries and sectors to coordinate closely in controlling product origin, especially the goods temporarily imported for re-export, making market forecasts, providing information for businesses in a timely manner, and ensuring the market transparency so that other countries cannot take advantage of Vietnam to falsify their products’ origin.

Meanwhile, business associations in HCM City asked the Industry and Trade Department to further assist local companies to promote trade and seek partners in markets in Asia, Europe and the US.

In the context of Vietnam’s intensive economic integration, it is important to capitalise on incentives under FTAs, they said, calling on authorities and business associations to provide more training and information to help firms fully aware of opportunities and challenges created by FTAs. –VNA