Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc addresses at the Commerical Counsellors Conference in Hanoi (Photo VNA)

Hanoi (VNA)
– Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc has urged trade counsellors to proactively assist domestic businesses by providing information about foreign markets, promoting trade and investment activities, and increasing sale of Vietnamese products abroad.

He made the request at the Commercial Counsellors Conference in Hanoi on February 7, which saw the presence of Vietnamese counsellors at 57 Trade Offices and seven of their branches abroad along with representatives from ministries and enterprises.

The country’s import-export turnover reached 425 billion USD in 2017, a positive outcome which was significantly contributed by the Vietnamese Trade Offices abroad, the PM said, adding that Vietnam has 21 products with over one-billion-USD export turnover and many others worth tens of billions of USD.

The Government is setting major export turnover targets for key commodities such as rice, shrimp, medicine, vegetables and fruits; hence, it wants to hear proposals of trade counsellors to promote the export of products, Phuc said.

Highlighting market seeking as a difficulty, he said “If we could find good markets accepting Vietnamese goods and the two sides share mutual benefits, domestic businesses are able to expand production.”

The Trade Offices will play a crucial role in finding new markets for exports, he added.

The PM asked the Ministry of Industry and Trade to give timely rewards to Trade Offices and commercial counsellors who actively contribute to promoting exports of staples such as shrimp, mango, dragon fruit, lychee, star apple, longan and chicken to the Asian market.

In the current stage of socio-economic development, economic diplomacy needs due attention so the Trade Offices must have an important role in Vietnamese embassies abroad.

He requested trade counsellors to do their utmost to help realise the country’s trade turnover of 500 billion USD in 2018.

The counsellors should take the success of businesses as measurement of their operational efficiency.

According to the Ministry of Industry and Trade, the Trade Offices abroad carried out over 500 trade promotion activities in 2016-2017 to help domestic and foreign companies update regulations on import-export and trade connectivity.

They also actively worked with the Department of Trade Defence under the Ministry of Industry and Trade to deal with trade defence measures such as anti-dumping and anti-subsidy applied by countries importing Vietnamese goods. 

The Trade Offices provided information and handled 12 anti-dumping cases in 2016 and 13 others in 2017.-VNA