Vietnamese goods still have a lot of room for development in ASEAN

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ASEAN is a major export market of Vietnam.

In the context that the Covid-19 epidemic continues to be complicated in many major export market areas of Vietnam such as Europe and the Americas, promoting the exploitation of neighboring markets, especially ASEAN, is considered solutions for businesses to maintain export turnover.

This is a judgment of experts at the ASEAN National Market Conference and boosting Vietnam’s export of goods to ASEAN by the Ho Chi Minh City Integration Center in coordination with the Asia-Africa Market Department, Ministry of Industry and Trade held the morning of June 26.

Mr. Nguyen Phuc Nam, Deputy Director of Asia-Africa Market Department, Ministry of Industry and Trade said that Vietnamese goods still have a lot of development space in ASEAN.

Currently Indonesia, Thailand, Philippines are the three largest import markets of Vietnamese goods with a variety of products. In particular, dried fruits and textile products for tourists of Vietnam are interested by many Thai buyers and distributors. Meanwhile, Indonesia Philippines, needs to import many generators, water pumps, electric appliances, telecommunication equipment from Vietnam.

According to Nguyen Phuc Nam, ASEAN is a major rice export market of Vietnam, in 2019, ASEAN rice exports reached US $ 1 billion, of which the Philippines is the largest rice importer of Vietnam. This area is forecast to continue to increase due to the impact of Covid -19 epidemic.

In addition, seafood, coffee and vegetables also have potential to expand the market. Pangasius has an export advantage in Thailand and Singapore, the group of coffee, tea and spices are accounting for a large proportion in Indonesia, while the growth rate of Vietnam’s exports of vegetables and fruits to the ASEAN bloc has recorded an increase.

However, Mr. Pham Ngoc Hung, Vice Chairman of Ho Chi Minh City Business Association informed that the Covid -19 translation caused export turnover to ASEAN market in the first half of this year to decrease by 13.4%. Besides, the export to ASEAN has also encountered many difficulties due to subjective conditions. Specifically, intra-regional exporters are mostly small and medium-sized enterprises, production technology is outdated, mainly suitable for markets such as Laos, Cambodia and Myanmar.

In high-standard markets such as Thailand, Singapore, Vietnamese goods face severe competition with Chinese goods and high-tech goods from Japan, South Korea, India On the other hand, Vietnamese businesses have not attaching importance to intra-ASEAN export despite the preferential tariffs and geographical advantages. Most of internal exports are from FDI enterprises, which have valuable products such as phones of all kinds, computers, electronic products and components.

In order to effectively exploit the ASEAN market, experts believe that enterprises need to restructure commodity categories to suit the new situation, and improve product quality with advanced technology. Besides, businesses need to apply digital technology to management, market access as well as transactions with customers.

Ms. Le Thi Mai Anh, Head of Southeast Asia, South Asia and Regional Cooperation Department, Asia-Africa Market Department, Ministry of Industry and Trade shared, ASEAN is a common economic community but there are differences in ethnicity, religion, consumption habits in each country. Therefore, businesses need to actively study, research needs as well as specific requirements of each market to have an effective approach. For example, food businesses that want to penetrate the market of Islamic countries in the region must first get Halal certification.

Meanwhile, Mr. Truong Xuan Trung, Head of the Vietnam Trade Office in Indonesia, suggested that export enterprises could build a distribution network through a local agent, which would easily reach consumers and Cost savings than opening a branch. In some markets, the level of difficulties and risks in customs clearance is quite high, so businesses need to contact closely with support units such as the Vietnamese deal in the host country, advisory centers, support import and export to update policy, procedure and market information on a regular basis, thereby increasing export efficiency.