Exports show decline in 2012

Export revenues in Vietnam have declined this year, because of an   economic crisis in Europe and some other countries, said Nguyen Thanh Bien, deputy minister of Industry and Trade, at a meeting on March 27 in Ho Chi Minh City.

Rubber exports of 228,000 tonnes reached $640 million, a year-on-year fall of 10 per cent in value (Photo: U. Phuong)

The meeting was held to discuss the status of exports in the first three months of the year, with enterprises and associations from various fields in the South, and to find measures to promote exports during the course of the year.

According to a report released by the Ministry of Industry and Trade, export turnover in the first three months is estimated around US$24.5 billion, up by 23.6 per cent against the same period last year.

Meanwhile, export turnover in the foreign investment sector reached $15.54, 43 per cent higher than the same period last year.

Vietnam earned $5.9 billion from agro-aqua-forestry exports in the first quarter of this year, approximately the same as last year.

In the first quarter, the country’s major agricultural products earned $3.2 billion, down 14 per cent, aqua products brought in $1.2 billion, up 9 per cent, and forestry products reached $922 million, up nearly 6 per cent compared to the same period last year.

However, rubber exports of 228,000 tonnes reached $640 million, a year-on-year fall of 10 per cent in value; while coffee exports of 504,000 tonnes, earned almost $1 billion, down almost 12 per cent in volume and 14.3 percent in value over the same period last year.

At the meeting, representatives of associations and enterprises said that they faced difficulties in accessing capital. In addition, they pointed out one of the main reasons for decline in exports is high interest loans of around 18 per cent a year.

To achieve the year’s target, enterprises and exporters petitioned the government to give accurate forecasts of markets as well as support trade promotion, expand markets and reduce interest rates to around 13 per cent a year.

Another measure that was suggested was for the government and related agencies to strengthen negotiations on Trans-Pacific Strategic Economic Partnership Agreement to lift export goods into important markets such as the US and Japan.

Bien concluded the meeting saying that the ministry will settle problems that are within its reach. For other matters it would turn to the Prime Minister for solutions, especially those concerning capital and interest rates.

By T. Hai - Translated by Uyen Phuong

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