Ho Chi Minh City posted a six-month export revenue of nearly 14.6 trillion USD, an annual decrease of 6.3 percent.

According to Vo Van Luan, Chief of the People’s Committee Office, mid-year export turnover of the agro-forestry-fisheries sector – accounting for 20 percent of the total export revenue – slid 9.6 percent from 2014, leading to the overall reduction.

During the period, stiff competition from Thailand and India as well as lowered demand from major importers Indonesia and the Philippines led to only 339,000 tonnes of rice shipped abroad, an annual drop of 73 percent.

The plunging rice trade is likely to be improved by the end of 2015 thanks to global market recovery as a result of positive impacts of government export-stimulation policies and several free trade agreements, said Nguyen Anh Duong, an expert from the Central Institute for Economics Management (CIEM).

To fulfil the 2015 export target, local business communities and associations ought to enhance promotion programmes and place additional emphasis on connectivity among domestic production, material import and market expansion, Duong noted.

Exporters across the southern hub need to focus on boosting price competitiveness, quality assurance and production capacity.

Pho Nam Phuong, Head of the Ho Chi Minh Investment and Trade Promotion Centre (ITPC), revealed that her agency is working to strengthen partnership in traditional markets like the US and EU and in potential markets such as Russia, Indonesia and India.

The ITPC is also making efforts to forge business links in Africa and western and southern Asia.-VNA