Nearby markets recommended for enterprises to boost exports hinh anh 1A shrimp processing factory in Vietnam (Photo: VNA)
Hanoi (VNA) – Enterprises of Vietnam have been recommended to diversify markets, including nearby countries, to promote exports, which are bouncing back strongly but also facing certain headwinds.

Trade experts said as China is the biggest exporter of goods to Vietnam, its lockdown measures prompted by the COVID-19 resurgence will affect the latter’s processing, manufacturing, and exports in the months ahead.

China’s zero-COVID policy, not to mention issues in the two countries’ cross-border trading procedures, limited transport and logistics infrastructure in border areas, has also led to severe goods congestion at border gates for certain periods of time and a decline in cross-border trade in the recent past.

Besides, despite abundant orders, recovering production activities, and a stable workforce, manufacturing sectors are struggling with soaring input costs due to the pandemic and the Russia - Ukraine conflict.

Bien Tan Tai, Deputy Director of the Binh Thuan Department of Industry and Trade, said aside from the Chinese market, the central province will increase aid for enterprises to take part in overseas trade promotion activities, with a focus on India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, the Middle East, and the countries that have signed free trade agreements with Vietnam.

It will help dragon fruit exporters directly take part in distribution networks of foreign retailers in Vietnam such as Lotte (the Republic of Korea), Aeon (Japan), and Big C (Thailand) so as to boost sales and expand their reach to foreign markets.

The northern mountainous province of Son La views Cambodia as one of the potential markets, aside from China, Australia, the RoK and Japan, for local longan and plum because, as experts said, apart from the close proximity, Cambodia also shares many cultural, market demand, and consumption habit similarities with those of Vietnam.

Laos is also assessed as a potential market for Vietnamese farm produce and goods.

Tran Van Yen, Director of the Thanh Chan fisheries cooperative in Dien Bien - a northern province bordering Laos, said the eight pairs of international border gates, seven pairs of main border gates, and 18 pairs of auxiliary ones along the Vietnam - Laos border make it favourable for bilateral trading as both time and costs are reduced considerably compared to trading with other countries.

Experts held that apart from improving product quality and meeting requirements of demanding markets, it is also necessary for enterprises to capitalise on nearby markets such as Laos, Cambodia and Thailand as changes have constantly occurred in global markets, especially since the COVID-19 pandemic broke out, and shipping costs has kept rising.

In addition, as unprocessed farm produce still accounts for about 65% of Vietnam’s total agricultural exports, the shipment of fresh commodities to neighbouring markets, which also has demand for fresh produce, will also help cut down transportation expenses and deal with falling prices in harvest seasons./.