Half-year a hard time for Vietnam exports
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Local exporters experienced a hard time over the first half of this year with tightened credit, exorbitant lending interest rates, and lower export orders combining to make life difficult.
Total export turnover in the first six months of the year stood at US$53.33 billion, a 22.7 percent increase year on year, according to figures from the Ministry of Industry and Trade.
However, Vietnamese exporters did not enjoy much of this growth, as their exports only rose by 4.1 percent to $20.5 billion, while foreign-invested businesses achieved a 38 percent increase.
The largest obstacle of local exporters is their markets, Deputy Minister of Industry and Trade Nguyen Thanh Bien said at a meeting held Tuesday in Ho Chi Minh City.
The buying power of international importers has fallen sharply, creating an order shortage for local businesses, especially in terms of long-term export contracts, said Bien.
Besides the issues that are in the hands of the exporting markets, all exporters attending the above meeting pointed their finger to what they said is the main culprit -- the credit management policy.
As for the latest policy, in which lending interest rates for existing loans were ordered by the State Bank of Vietnam to be dropped to 15 percent, exporters said the long wait is yet to end.
Even when rates are actually cut to 15 percent, it still is not enough for revitalizing businesses, said Le Phuoc Vu, deputy chairman of the Vietnam Steel Association.
Taking the complaint of exporters over the inaccessibility to cheap bank loans, a representative of the Vietnam Development Bank said it is because banks need to ensure the safety of every single cent they lend out.
“But many borrowers do not have an adequate investment plan, which will not ensure the effectiveness of their money use,” the banker said.
Cap Quang Duong, deputy chairman of the Credit Agency under the central bank, said that 20 credit institutions have implemented the rate cut plan.
Duong believed that businesses will soon stop complaining about not being able to access the cheap loans as these institutions account for 90 percent of the credit market.