Overseas trade offices boost exports
At a recent online meeting between PM Chinh and representatives of overseas Vietnamese trade offices, Deputy Minister of Industry and Trade Do Thang Hai said Vietnam has 61 overseas trade offices and branches.
Their major functions are to represent and protect national economic and trade interests, expand export markets for Vietnamese goods, promote industrial investment in Vietnam and collect information about foreign markets in order to propose to the Ministry of Industry and Trade suitable measures to boost trade with them.
Minister of Industry and Trade Nguyen Hong Dien (standing) speaks at Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh’s online meeting with representatives of overseas Vietnamese trade offices
Hai said the overseas trade offices contributed to a 15.3 percent increase in Vietnam’s foreign trade value in the first seven months of the year to over US$433.6 billion despite numerous difficulties facing the global economy and trade. Of this sum, exports accounted for US$217.3 billion, up 16.6 percent, and imports for US$216.3 billion, up 14 percent, yielding a trade surplus of more than US$1 billion. “The trade surplus contributes positively to the balance of payments, helping stabilize the foreign exchange rate and other macroeconomic indexes,” Deputy Minister Hai emphasized.
Tran Ngoc Quan, Vietnamese Trade Counselor in the European Union, said Vietnam is one of four Asian nations that have free trade agreements (FTAs) with the EU. The EU considers its FTA with Vietnam (EVFTA) as a model for negotiations with other countries. However, the EU is a highly discerning market, requiring Vietnamese companies to prepare for long-term and responsible access.
Vietnamese Trade Counselor in Sweden, Denmark, Norway, Iceland and Latvia Nguyen Thi Hoang Thuy said North European markets are small in terms of population but the per-capita income is very high and the annual import value is impressive, amounting to about US$400 billion. In her opinion, conquering these markets will enable Vietnam to grasp new export trends and achieve breakthrough results.
Bui Trung Thuong, Vietnamese Trade Counselor in India, said the presence of Vietnamese companies in India remains limited and therefore hinders exports to this market. In his opinion, favorable conditions should be created for Indian businesses to increase investment in Vietnam in the fields of seaports, pharmaceuticals and information technology.
PM Chinh urged the overseas Vietnamese trade offices to play a frontline role in seeking updated information about the policies of foreign countries and propose suitable measures to ensure the interests of Vietnam and Vietnamese businesses in the international integration process.
Further, it is necessary to promote exports to new markets in Eastern Europe, the Middle East, South America, South Asia and Africa to compensate for the difficulties facing exports to traditional markets such as the US, China, the EU, Japan, the Republic of Korea, and ASEAN, he said. At the same time, efforts to diversify supply chains should be intensified, the PM added.
The PM asked the trade offices to connect domestic companies with foreign partners for investment cooperation and facilitate foreign investment in Vietnam’s industry as well as overseas Vietnamese investment.
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