Trade promotion activities experienced a busy year in 2013. Under two major programmes, namely the National Trade Promotion Programme and National Brand Programme, promotion activities have helped boosting exports and business activities both at home and overseas.

According to the Vietnam Business Forum (VIB Forum), the National Trade Promotion Programme was carried out with three phases, consisting of 144 projects deployed by 71 units. The programme focused on supporting leading export industries of Vietnam like fisheries, textile, footwear, agricultural product, food, wooden furniture and handicraft.

Within the framework of the programme, Vietnamese enterprises took part in well-known general trade fairs and specialised trade fairs in China, the United States, Belgium, Germany, Russia, Japan, the Republic of Korea, Laos, Cambodia and Myanmar.

Many companies also attended trade fairs in foreign nations with different scales, with the most frequent destination being China with the aim of boosting exports to this market and reducing trade gap with the neighbouring nation.

A lot of international trade fairs were organised in Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City and other major localities, with the centre of focus being Vietnam Expo. Vietnam - China rotational border trade fairs were also hosted in Quang Ninh, Lang Son and Lao Cai provinces in 2013.

Vietnam also organised specific festivals for some key commodities like Tea Festival, Coffee Festival, Fruit Festival and Flower Festival in localities where such commodities were famous for Hundreds of exhibitions, based on inter-regional model, were held in many provinces and districts. Vietnamese goods fairs in the countryside and industrial zones were renovated to attain better results.

Vietnamese companies signed contracts worth of hundreds of millions of US dollars at trade fairs in foreign nations and international trade fairs in Vietnam. At domestic trade fairs, the number and value of contracts signed also increased.

Trade fairs and exhibitions belonging to the National Trade Promotion Programme supported 1,834 enterprises in 2013, representing an increase of 34 percent from 2012, installed 10,623 booths, attracted 1.85 million visitors, witnessed 572 contracts and memorandums of understanding signed with a combined value of over 1.4 billion USD and 162 billion VND, and raked in aggregate sales revenue of 400 trillion VND.

Activities of the National Trade Promotion Programme always sticks to export-oriented promotion, gives priority to the development of domestic market in border-sharing, mountainous and offshore localities, thus contributing to the success of the “Buy Vietnamese” Campaign which encourages Vietnamese people to give priority to Vietnamese products.

The National Brand Programme, also known as Vietnam Value, continued to support joining businesses. The programme focused on popularising Vietnam Value-certified products. Right from the start of 2013, the Council for National Brand Programme held a ceremony to announce 54 companies to be certified the National Value in 2012, including 37 companies also winning the title in 2010. As many as 25 companies earned the title in three consecutive times.

Trade - investment promotion agencies organised many activities throughout the year. They organised business delegations to Russia and Belarus to attend trade - investment promotion events where many companies signed export and distribution contracts.

Attending a similar event in the Republic of Korea, Ha Nam province handed three investment certificates to the Republic of Korea’s investors with a total pledged capital of 21 million USD. Shortly after that, a delegation of 20 companies from the Republic of Korea arrived in Ha Nam province to explore investment opportunities. A Republic of Korea’s firm decided to inject 230 million USD into Ha Nam.

State management on this effect was strengthened. Together with 500 promotion programmes certified by the Vietnam Trade Promotion Agency (Vietrade) under the Ministry of Industry and Trade, hundreds of promotion programmes were granted by provincial/municipal Departments of Industry and Trade.

Importantly, competent agencies tightened supervision over promotion programmes and timely handled unfair programmes to ensure fair competition and the legitimate interests of consumers. Thus, promotional activities, commercial advertisements, monthly sales, holiday stimulus programmes were effectively carried out.