This information was released by Phan Van Chinh, Head of the Import-Export Department under the Ministry of Industry and Trade (MoIT), at a seminar in Hanoi on April 10 held by the “Multilateral Trade Assistance Project Vietnam” (MUTRAP).
The meeting aimed to discuss the impact of international economic integration on Vietnam’s economy and make recommendations concerning the implementation of the country’s import-export strategy in the 2011-2020 period.
The MoIT will build a roadmap to gradually reduce exports of raw mineral resources and invest in processing technologies to increase the value of exports.
It will re-examine items of low export earnings, but high future growth to make breakthrough in the export sector.
Delegates said it is also important for Vietnam to adjust imports by boosting the production of raw materials, fuels, and accessories for businesses, diversifying import markets and improving the trade deficit with its current import markets.
To date, Vietnam has become involved in Free Trade Agreements (FTAs) with partners such as China, the Republic of Korea, India, Japan, Australia, New Zealand and Chile. It also signed an Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) with Japan, and is conducting FTA and Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) negotiations and preparing to start an FTA agreement with the EU.
This is a good opportunity to promote Vietnamese exports and reduce imports, said Mr Chinh.
At the seminar, economists assessed the impact of the opening of various markets in line with the World Trade Organisation (WTO) commitment and the FTA on Vietnam’s production and trade, and devised measures to perfect the MoIT mechanism to manage import-export activities in the future.
They also emphasized the need to continue tapping into other markets such as India and the RoK, and take full advantage of China’s recent trade policies to shore up exports.
From 2001 to 2010, annual export value grew 17.42 percent, 1.42 percent more than the set target of 16 percent. Imports also increased by 18.42 percent with the import surplus reaching US$62 billion, 15.86 percent more than the export value.