Vietnamese companies are not yet taking full advantage of ASEAN markets: experts


Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, trade revenues between Vietnam and other ASEAN countries are still on the rise, but there is still a long way to go to take full advantage of these neighboring markets.

Workers from Tien Thuan Garment Co make clothes at its factory in Ninh Thuan Province. Textile products are among the many Vietnamese products with great export potential to ASEAN countries.

Trade between Viet Nam and other ASEAN countries has grown in recent years, from just $ 3.5 billion in 1995, when the country joined the bloc, to $ 42 billion in 2015. and $ 53.6 billion in 2020. Last year’s figure was 9.8. percent of Viet Nam’s total turnover.

In the first seven months of 2021, despite the negative impacts of the pandemic, bilateral trade still grew 38.5% year-on-year to reach $ 40.8 billion. This includes $ 16.1 billion in exports from Viet Nam and $ 24.7 billion in imports, up 25.9 percent and 48.2 percent respectively.

ASEAN is a large market with a combined population of nearly 700 million, a growing middle class, similarities in lifestyle and culture, and geographic proximity among member countries. In view of this, Viet Nam still has a lot of room to boost exports to countries in the region.

Nguyen Phuc Nam, deputy director of the Asia-Africa markets department at the Ministry of Industry and Trade, told the Cong Thuong (Industry) newspaper that there are still many good opportunities for Vietnamese products to enter the markets. from ASEAN.

Indonesia, Thailand and the Philippines are currently the largest importers of Vietnamese products. While Thailand prefers dried fruits and clothing for tourists, the other two have high demand for generators, water pumps and telecommunications devices from Viet Nam, according to Nam.

ASEAN countries are also large importers of Vietnamese rice.

Many other Vietnamese products also have great export potential to these destinations, such as articles of the processing and manufacturing industry, cell phones, computers, electronics, tea, clothing and materials. of construction.

However, experts felt that Vietnamese companies had yet to take full advantage of the ASEAN market.

Over the past 10 years, the country has continuously recorded a trade deficit of $ 6-7 billion, equivalent to 30 percent of the total value of exports, with this market.

Data from the General Statistics Office (GSO) shows the deficit was around $ 8.6 billion in the first seven months of 2021, up 123% from the same period of the year last.

To fuel shipments to this region, a GSO official suggested that Viet Nam pay more attention to its trade policies with countries in the region while maximizing the benefits created by ASEAN free trade agreements. and its partners around the world.

There was also a need to continue improving the application of technologies to enhance the competitiveness of Vietnamese products, increase trade in services and investment, and promote the country’s competitive advantage.

As Viet Nam and some other ASEAN members share a great similarity in the structure of products, it should actively engage in the transfer of capital flows within the bloc and cooperate with them to export goods to the markets. global, said the head of GSO.

The Asia-Africa Markets Department has recommended that Vietnamese companies proactively learn about the demand and requirements of each country to have effective approaches.

Source: VNS

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