Trade between Vietnam and the Americas saw a 3.5-fold increase from US$28 billion in 2011 to US$96.8 billion in 2019. In the first eight months of 2020, two-way trade increased by 11.8 percent compared to the same period last year to US$69.3 billion, with Vietnam’s exports increasing by 15.9 percent, especially exports of garments and textiles, leather and footwear, and agro-forestry-fishery products.
Vietnamese Trade Counselor in Canada Do Thi Thu Huong told participants at an industry and trade forum with American partners held in Hanoi on September 25 that Vietnamese businesses now have many opportunities for cooperation with Canadian companies as their government is pursuing a policy of trade diversification and prioritizing trade with Asia. In addition, the US-China trade war has directly affected some Canadian companies and the Covid-19 pandemic has caused disruption in supply chains, prompting a review of their purchase and production plans. Therefore, Canadian companies have paid higher attention to Asia in planning new supply chains.
The Vietnamese and Canadian economies are strongly complementary, with Vietnam’s competitive advantages in the agro-food sector and labor intensive industries. In particular, Vietnam’s effective measures in Covid-19 prevention and control, political stability and young population are attractive factors for Canadian companies. Huong said the number of Canadian companies looking for suppliers and locations to set up factories in Vietnam has increased in recent times, especially in support industries.
In addition to promoting exports to the Americas, Vietnamese businesses are also willing to import many items from these two continents.
Colombian Ambassador to Vietnam Miguel Angel Rodriguez Melo said Colombia is looking forward to promoting cooperation with Vietnamese businesses in pharmaceuticals and tourism. His country also welcomes Vietnamese investment in the agricultural sector, Melo said.
Chilean Ambassador to Vietnam Jaime Chomali said his country seeks to export fresh fruit, electronic equipment and wine to Vietnam. The Vietnam-Chile Free Trade Agreement has been in effect since 2014, but in order to take advantage of its many opportunities, Vietnam must quickly address the time-consuming quality inspection and administrative procedures, Chomali said.
Methodical approach, specific strategy
The Americas account for one-fourth of Vietnam’s export turnover, but some factors such as the distance, lack of direct flights and language barrier hamper further market development.
Deputy Minister of Industry and Trade Do Thang Hai said Vietnamese businesses have little understanding of American regulations on the import of goods and food quality and safety. They also need to learn more about habits and customs of consumers in North and South America.
Pham Hoang Viet, deputy chairman of An Phat Holdings, said businesses must prove their ability to ensure food safety and hygiene and to meet export standards so that they can give relevant instructions to their factories.
The Covid-19 pandemic has negatively affected the world economy as well as Vietnam and American countries. Given declining orders, broken supply chains and increasing unemployment, they need to quickly adapt to changes in trade and economic policies and devise appropriate development strategies.
Vietnamese Minister Counselor in the US Bui Huy Son said Vietnamese businesses should further improve product quality in order to meet new market requirements. In addition, they should also improve packaging design for online sales.
|Two-way trade between Vietnam and the Americas reached US$96.8 billion in 2019, of which Vietnam’s exports stood at US$73.6 billion and imports totaled US$23.2 billion.|