Opportunities for Vietnamese businesses in the US and ways of penetrating the market were the main points up for discussion at a conference held by the Trade Promotions Department under the Ministry of Industry and Trade (MOIT), in Ho Chi Minh City on August 28.

At the conference, Nguyen Duy Khien, Director of the American Markets Department at the MOIT, pointed out that Vietnamese products such as garments, textiles, footwear and toys are much lower in price. This is a big advantage in the US , where businesses tend to focus on high-tech products and often outsource their manufacturing arms to other countries.

However, Le Xuan Duong, Director of the Export Support Centre at the Trade Promotions Department, believes there is a great opportunity for Vietnamese products in the US , due to a high demand from the substantial Vietnamese community living in the country.

Currently, there are about 1.3 million Vietnamese living in the US , the forth largest overseas community in the country, while the choice of Vietnamese products on American shelves, especially foodstuffs, is still limited.

Trade analysts also pointed out that exporters should improve their designs and packaging to reduce transport costs and use online services to approach the market in a more efficient and cost effective manner.

In 2010, Vietnam ’s total export to the US was valued at about 14.238 billion USD, an increase of 24.89 percent from 2009. Vietnam ’s export stables were garments and textiles, which earned 6.117 billion USD, woodwork, 1.329 billion USD, footwear, 1.407 billion USD, and aquatic products, 956 million USD.

The US ’ total export to Vietnam was 3.766 billion USD worth of machinery, equipment, accessories, chemicals, animal feed and materials.-VNA