Vietnam’s exports warm up

According to the latest information from authorities and enterprises, Vietnam's exports in many markets have been increasing. Agricultural and aquatic products, foodstuffs, electricity, electronics, and textiles remain the items with large export turnover.
Processing food for export at Cofidec Company in District 12, HCMC. (Photo: SGGP)
Processing food for export at Cofidec Company in District 12, HCMC. (Photo: SGGP)

Total export turnover reached US$48.55 billion

At Saigon 3 Garment Joint Stock Company in the first days of March, more than 850 workers are still diligently fulfilling the orders signed from the end of last year. Mr. Pham Xuan Hong, CEO of the company, said that stagnancy in trade in the early stage of the Covid-19 pandemic had been overcome by enterprises and the governments of countries around the world through the strong development of platforms for the digital economy. In Vietnam, last year, the digitization of e-commerce platforms between Vietnam and other countries was implemented urgently by authorities. Thanks to that, the company still managed to maintain revenue. By the end of last year, each employee of the company received a bonus of about VND30 million per person for the Lunar New Year, equivalent to 2.5 months' salary.

At Dien Quang Lamp Joint Stock Company, Vietnam Dairy Products Joint Stock Company, Cat Thai Production and Trade Co., Ltd., and Binh Minh Plastic Joint Stock Company, the working atmosphere at factories and the production lines was fairly vibrant. The representative of Cat Thai Production and Trade Co., Ltd. Shared that from the beginning of this year to now, his company has maintained steady production, including on Tet holidays. The company has already completed and transferred many export orders to partners in Malaysia, Singapore, China, and the US.

The Trade Commissioner in Australia said that Vietnam's export turnover to Australia in January reached nearly $392 million, an increase of 62.08 percent. Particularly, leading the export turnover is the group of raw plastic materials, with the highest increase of more than 900 percent. The group of electrical wires and cables soared by 329.68 percent, toys and toy parts surged by 218.11 percent, and seafood climbed by 106.09 percent. The groups of wood and wood products and textiles and footwear increased by 62.72 percent and 72.47 percent, respectively. The group of agricultural products, vegetables, and fruits alone shot up 37.16 percent.

Many trade commissioners in the European market also said that goods exported to the main markets of Europe, such as the UK, France, Germany, Denmark, and Sweden, had also warmed up after being interrupted for a short time. For instance, in Sweden, in January alone, the export turnover reached about $132 million, up 99.94 percent compared to the same period last year. The seafood group saw an impressive increase with more than 1,767 percent, followed by iron and steel products with more than 488 percent. Mobile phones, accessories, and ceramics ranked third with the same increase of above 202 percent. Other key export groups, such as textiles, footwear, toys, sports equipment, bamboo, and rattan products, also posted high increases from 44 percent to more than 145 percent.

According to statistics by the General Department of Vietnam Customs, from the beginning of this year until now, the total export turnover of the whole country hit $48.55 billion, an increase of nearly 23 percent compared to the same period last year. Previously, in January, export turnover had impressive growth, touching $27.7 billion, up 50.5 percent year-on-year. The main export markets of Vietnamese goods are still the US, Europe, Japan, South Korea, China, and countries in the ASEAN.

Digital connectivity opens the way for enterprises to export

The Ministry of Industry and Trade (MoIT) established and quickly put into operation an e-commerce trading floor with export markets. In the short term, the ministry joined hands with the EU to set up a Vietnam-EU e-commerce trading floor. According to Mr. Do Thang Hai, Deputy Minister of the MoIT, the EU27 is the second-largest import market in the world, accounting for 14.9 percent of total global imports. Although this is the second-largest export market of Vietnam, the country only accounts for about 2 percent of the total imports of the EU. Therefore, the opportunities for Vietnam's exports to grow, especially for the group of agricultural, forestry, and aquatic products, to enter this market are huge.

As for the remaining markets, trade offices have promoted the establishment of an information website to promptly update the developments of consumer demand in those markets. At the same time, for enterprises wishing to connect with partners, trade commissioners will directly support the connection.

In another perspective, Mr. Tran Duy Dong, Deputy Minister of Planning and Investment, shared that in the framework of the program to support the digital transformation of enterprises in the period of 2021-2025, more than 500 enterprises had been supported by the ministry and the US Agency for International Development (USAID) to digitize production and business activities. Accordingly, enterprises were not only supported with cognitive transformation, but also with the digitization of business activities, management processes, technology processes, production, and comprehensive digital transformation to create new products, services, and models. From now to 2025, the ministry would coordinate with relevant units to support at least 100,000 enterprises to implement digital transformation. Of these, priority will be given to the group of processing and manufacturing enterprises.

According to economists, the signed free trade agreements have given Vietnam the highest preferential commitment. Up to 99 percent of tariff lines on goods imported from Vietnam will be removed immediately or will be eliminated in 7-10 years. This advantage, along with the efforts to digitize the economy that the Government has been implementing, not only brings opportunities for export growth but also helps domestic enterprises to promote restructuring and improve competitiveness through product quality, traceability, and packaging, step by step bringing Vietnamese goods deeper into global supply chains.