Vietnam needs to develop exports based on strengthening competitiveness and creating higher added values, said a World Bank (WB) report.

The WB and the National Committee for International Economic Cooperation (NCIEC) jointly held a seminar on the report, themed “Trade Facilitation, Value Creation, and Competitiveness: Policy Implications for Vietnam ’s Economic Growth,” in Hanoi on July 4.

According to WB Country Director in Vietnam Victoria Kwakwa, the report showed that since reforms associated with Doi Moi in1986, Vietnam has recorded strong trade performance despite numerous difficulties.

The country’s exports rose 34 percent in 2011, 18 percent in 2012 and nearly 20 percent in the first quarter of 2013.

Nevertheless, this robust performance belies major challenges, including: low technology embodied in exports, growing trade deficits, and modest domestic value addition. In addition, as trade liberalisation advanced, the scope for increasing trade through the current avenue reaches its limits.

Deputy Minister of Industry and Trade Le Duong Quang stressed the need for Vietnam to have a new approach to improve competitiveness and boost export growth.

He expressed his hope that the report’s outcomes will make positive contributions to Vietnam ’s making of policies relating to trade facilitation, trade competitiveness enhancement and international economic integration.

At the event, delegates proposed several recommendations such as establishing the National Committee for Trade Facilitation (NCTF) to develop and implement a national action plan for trade competitiveness enhancement and developing infrastructure and transport services.

Simplifying regulatory procedures to reduce time and cost and improve reliability of cross border trade, and restructuring supply chains to capture value and to participate proactively in global value chains and develop supporting industries were also mentioned.-VNA