|Mr. Tran Thanh Hai, Deputy Director of Import and Export Department (Ministry of Industry and Trade).|
According to the General Statistics Office (Ministry of Planning and Investment), the total import-export turnover in the first quarter of 2021 was estimated at US$152.65 billion, up 24.1% over the same period last year. In which, export is estimated at US$77.34 billion, up 22%; trade surplus was over US$2 billion. What is the reason for these positive results?
Currently, the world is suffering from the Covid-19 pandemic, plus other problems such as the lack of empty containers, the increase in shipping rates and recently the blockage of the Suez canal. In that context, the import-export value is thanks to the great efforts of enterprises plus the support and companionship of the ministries, branches and localities.
In addition, it is important to recognize the good use of the advantages of the international economic integration process, S Vietnam has Free Trade Agreements with the EU (EVFTA), the United Kingdom (UKVFTA), the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) and the upcoming Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP).
In the new generation FTAs, the EVFTA, effective from August 1, 2020, is considered to have a fairly rapid impact, directly supporting export promotion. Can you tell us more about the advantages of Vietnamese products in exporting to the EU thanks to the EVFTA?
With the EU market, some Vietnamese products enjoy GSP (universal preference system) regulations, which are incentives that the EU has given to Vietnamese products for many years.
However, in the long term, Vietnam’s taking advantage of the opportunities from the new EVFTA is a sustainable and equal incentive. In fact, with many Vietnamese products having advantages, Vietnam will also have advantages in the combined origin in the EVFTA. For example, for textile and garment products, Vietnam can add Korean material sources. These are also advantages that only the EVFTA can bring.
The businesses can take advantage of the benefits of the agreement in understanding that the agreement can bring in their fields and products, through which they can change the production process, the supply of raw materials to meet the requirements of the origin of goods and can enjoy the low taxes that the agreement brings.
The export of industrial products has made a significant contribution to positive export results in the first quarter of this year, but there are also distinct aspects between specific industries. How do you pay attention to the export of industrial products?
The export-import growth achieved a very positive figure in the first quarter.
However, if you look at each specific industry, the results are also different.
Currently, items such as electronics, household electrical goods and wooden furniture are items that are benefiting as well as having a relatively positive impact due to increased market demand in Europe and Northern America.
However, the difficulty of the industry such as textiles and footwear is very big, especially the impact of a supply chain breakdown reflected in many different aspects, not only in supply but also in logistics operating chains.
This shows that the overall growth of import and export, including the industrial products group, is different, it is necessary to carefully consider and support the commodities heavily affected by the pandemic.
In the first three months of the year, Vietnam saw a trade surplus of over US$2 billion, but the trade deficit also increased sharply. Does this show the balance of import and export, the clear recovery of domestic production to create a better momentum for exports?
In recent years, with the recovery of production as well as of the market, groups of raw materials are needed, especially for industries such as furniture, plastics, textiles, footwear and electronics components, components for household electrical appliances are the largest import group. Thus, Vietnam imports raw materials for export industries. This shows the balance in import-export activities. In terms of structure, imported goods serving production is still a reasonable structure so that Vietnam can continue to encourage businesses to promote exports.
Do you have any recommendations for the export community to help businesses continue to gain positive export results, especially in the context of unpredictable fluctuations in world trade?
Trade activities in the current context are affected by many volatile factors from political and social upheaval to pandemics, natural disasters and the environment.
Therefore, improving adaptability and tolerance to the adverse effects of the market coming from many different sources is an essential factor for businesses.
From the lessons of the Covid-19 pandemic, businesses need to work out more proactive and comprehensive plans against various uncertainties in order to minimize damage as well as rise up and grasp the opportunities from such risk factors.
Thank you Sir!