Trade promotion: stimulator of Vietnamese exports hinh anh 1The export promotion forum was held by the Ministry of Industry and Trade (Photo: VietnamPlus)

Hanoi (VNA)
– Thanks to trade promotion activities, export markets of Vietnam have been expanded from 72 countries and territories in 2009 to 180 in 2019.

Over the years, Vietnam’s trade has increased continuously. Particularly, amid the complicated developments of COVID-19 pandemic, foreign trade has still seen fruitful outcomes with surplus reaching a record in the history.

One of the factors contributing to the result is trade promotion, which has supported businesses in increasing exports and popularizing trademarks.

However, in the context of intensive and extensive integration, in order to adapt to the changes of the world economy, especially the Fourth Industrial Revolution, trade promotion should be renovated to help enhance the value of goods and trademark of Vietnam in the international market.

This was the major focus of the Vietnam trade promotion forum 2020 which was held by the Ministry of Industry and Trade on December 16 in Hanoi.

Positive contributions to exports

Vietnam’s export revenue in 2020 is estimated to reach 267 billion USD while imports are to reach 260 billion USD, resulting in a trade surplus of some 7 billion USD, according to Deputy Minister of Industry and Trade Do Thang Hai.

Amid the impact of COVID-19, exports still rose 1 percent, marking a bright spot and key foundation for the country’s economy to start the new year, Hai said.

He underlined that 2020 is a tough year for all economic sectors, but foreign trade has been a silver liner in the gloomy global economic panorama.

The trade surplus in the first 11 months of this year hit a record 20.1 billion USD, while total export-import revenue hit 489.1 billion USD, up 3.5 percent year-on-year, with export turnover rising 5.3 percent to 254.6 billion USD.

Notably, 31 products posted export value of over 1 billion USD, accounting for 92 percent of total revenue, he said.

He noted that activities under the national programme on trade promotion has supported 30,000 businesses who had chances to directly engage in transactions and sign contracts, with total value of over 14.8 billion USD.

To Tuong Lan, Vice General Secretary of the Vietnam Association of Seafood Exporters and Producers (VASEP), said the association has changed its marketing method from business-to-business to business-to-consumer, while optimising connectivity tools such as websites, Google, Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram, and YouTube.

Its website attracted 14,000 visits in just three months, she said.

Vu Ba Phu, head of the Trade Promotion Agency at the Ministry of Industry and Trade, said that with trade of over 500 billion USD, trade promotions should be strengthened by optimising spending and applying information technology.

Amid a boom in e-commerce due to COVID-19, the ministry will support businesses in applying IT and developing e-commerce activities, he added.

Focusing on enhancing value of export products

It can be seen that trade promotion activities have benefited businesses by bringing them more orders and markets.

However, in the new context, the State should design policies to honour enterprises pioneering in boosting sustainable development, protecting the environment and contributing to social welfare, while assisting and connecting businesses with foreign markets by providing information on quality requirements of the markets, said a representative from the Vietnam Timber and Forest Product Association (VIFOREST) .

Meanwhile, Vu Ba Phu noted that the trade promotion programme has been designed for each year, with few for 3-5 years, while the scale of the activities has remained modest compared to other countries in the region.

Alongside, the capacity to organize events and resources of associations and enterprises have yet to catch up with the requirements of the world market. At the same time, there has been no ecosystem of exporters, trade associations, trade promotion organizations and relevant specialized service suppliers, he added.

He held that in order to contribute to boost sustainable development of export amid the effectiveness of new generation free trade agreements such as the EU-Vietnam FTA, the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) and Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP), it is necessary to build trade promotion programmes for particular products and markets in specific periods.

The programmes must be built in 3-5 years and implemented in three consecutive years, he said.

He added that online tools will be applied to maintain the markets and relationships with partners as well as help businesses to seek importers.

Trade promotion: stimulator of Vietnamese exports hinh anh 2Deputy Minister of Industry and Trade Do Thang Hai addresses the forum (Photo: VietnamPlus)

Phu also stressed the need for foreign trade offices and trade promotion agencies to hold online business exchanges, thus promoting exports through e-commerce./.