Minister: Big surge in Vietnam’s exports possible hinh anh 1Pineapple processed for export at the Dong Giao Foodstuff Export JSC in Ninh Binh province (Photo: VNA)
Hanoi (VNA) - Vietnam can achieve a whopping 56 percent annual rise in export turnover this year to reach 275 billion USD, a senior official has said.

Minister-Chairman of the Government’s Office Mai Tien Dung said at a press conference on October 3 that this achievement is possible with concerted efforts by all stakeholders including businesses, ministries and agencies.

If the target is achieved, it would far exceed the target of 188 billion USD set for the year. The target was later revised to 202 billion USD.

Dung, who based his statement on a new report by the Ministry of Industry and Trade (MOIT), said exports had already posted an impressive 19.8 percent year-on-year increase in the first nine months of the year.

According to the General Statistics Office (GSO), exports by the domestic sector in the first nine months touched 43.2 billion USD, a 16.8 percent increase, while those of the foreign-invested sector was 110.8 billion USD, an increase of 21 percent.

The US remained the largest consumer of Vietnamese goods with 31.2 billion USD, followed by the EU and China with 28.4 billion USD and 21.9 billion USD, respectively.

Import turnover during the first nine months jumped 23.1 percent year-on-year to 154.5 billion USD, with imports by the domestic sector touching 61.3 billion USD, an 18.7 percent increase, and that of the foreign-invested sector rising 26.1 percent to 93.2 billion USD.

China continued to be the largest importer of Vietnamese goods with 41.6 billion USD, a year-on-year surge of 15.6 percent. The Republic of Korea (RoK) and ASEAN came second and third with 33.9 billion USD and 20.6 billion USD, respectively.

Vietnam’s trade deficit for the periods is estimated at 500 million USD.

The trade deficit incurred by the domestic sector totaled18.08 billion USD, and that of the foreign-invested sector was 17.64 billion USD.

Potentials, challenges

Experts have said that the growth potential for exports is very high, with Vietnamese goods and commodities present in nearly 200 countries and territories.

Along with the focus on exports to key markets with high purchasing power like the US, the EU, Japan, RoK, China and ASEAN, Vietnamese goods have also expanded to Africa and Latin America.

However, the country is expected to face many obstacles and challenges ahead, including competition from other countries dealing in similar commodities and goods, pressure from anti-dumping lawsuits, and other trade barriers arising out of increasing protectionism in importing countries.

Moreover, Vietnamese exports are still focused on scale and quantity rather than quality and value, the experts said.

Tran Thanh Hai, Deputy Director of the MOIT’s Export Department, said that although Vietnam had joined the global supply chain, its role remains modest.

The country’s export turnover was still heavily dependent on exports of FDI enterprises, with their contribution much higher than that of domestic firms.

Besides, Hai said, FDI firms have not supported local businesses in strengthening their presence in the global supply chain.

The under-developed supporting industry is also hindering domestic firms by forcing them to import a large quantity of components, he said.

Hai also stressed that most Vietnamese enterprises have not fully grasped and updated their knowledge of FTA provisions, and this restricts their ability to make proper business plans before exporting.

He said domestic firms need to increase their competitiveness by improving corporate governance and applying technological innovations.

In the processing and manufacturing sectors, enterprises will find it difficult to sustain their exports if they ignore development of the supporting industry, Hai said, adding this task must be accorded top priority.

He said it was very important that the localisation rate in key industries like mechanical products, electronic components and devices, textiles and footwear increases significantly in the near future. -VNA