Organising trade promotion campaigns and expanding the country’s markets to areas that have suffered less from the global financial crisis are just two of the major initiatives put forward by the Ministry of Industry and Trade (MoIT) to boost exports from now to the end of the year.

Addressing a meeting on Aug. 27, MoIT Deputy Minister Nguyen Thanh Bien put forward separate measures for each market.

These included continuing to lobby the US to include Vietnam on the list of countries that benefit from the Generalised System of Preference (GSP), dealing with technical barriers faced by goods exported to the EU, especially seafood and forming joint committees between Vietnam and African and other Asian countries to discuss trade.

He also suggested that enterprises improve the quality of their goods to increase competitiveness, diversify their lines of goods, increase the export of processed goods and make full use of preferences already stipulated in agreements signed between Vietnam and other countries.

They should also familiarise themselves with other countries’ import-export policies to be able to create suitable business strategies and subsequently minimise risks.

The MoIT will assist enterprises to open representative offices or branches in several markets to bring Vietnamese goods closer to foreign consumers.

In his forecast for exports during the remaining months of the year, the deputy minister said that garments, footwear, seafood, coffee and wood exports will have more advantages than other commodities.

For example, shrimp exports to Japan will enjoy a lower import tax rate of 1-2 percent starting on October 1 st , following the recent Vietnam-Japan Economic Partnership Agreement.

Exports of garments and wood are predicted to increase soon thanks to signs of recovery in large markets, such as Japan , the US and the EU.

The National Information and Socio-Economic Forecasting Centre under the Ministry of Planning and Investment said that Vietnam will earn between 58.7 billion–61.3 billion USD from exports in 2009, a year-on-year decrease of 2.2-6.4 percent.

In the first eight months of this year, Vietnam made 37.3 billion USD from exports, a rise of 14.2 percent over the same period last year./.