Mexico, Chile and Peru were three countries that Vietnam recorded the highest trade surplus in the Latin American in 2019.
Despite the Covid-19 pandemic causing disruption to global trade, Vietnam’s exports to three members of the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) in Latin America expanded by 4.6% year-on-year in the first 10 months of this year to US$3.74 billion.
|Processing frozen catfish in a company in My Tho industrial park, Tien Giang province. Photo: Hung Viet.|
The information was revealed at the conference promoting trade and investment via the CPTPP among Vietnam, Mexico, Chile and Peru on December 21, aiming to help Vietnamese companies gain a better understanding on these Latin American countries for greater market penetration.
Deputy Director of the European-American Market Department under the Ministry of Industry and Trade (MoIT) Vo Hong Anh said Vietnam’s key export products to three markets included garment, footwear, seafood, wooden products and phone parts, among others.
Since the CPTPP took effect for Vietnam on January 14, 2019, bilateral trade between Vietnam and three Latin American countries in 2019 reached US$5.12 billion, of which Vietnam’s exports earned US$4.11 billion, up 26.76% year-on-year.
“Mexico, Chile and Peru were three countries that Vietnam recorded the highest trade surplus in the Latin America, posting corresponding export growth rates of 26.3%, 20.3% and 36.4%, respectively,” Ms. Anh noted.
Second Secretary of the Mexico Embassy in Vietnam Ivan Antonino Sosa said the three countries have agreed in a meeting in August to refrain from trade protection measures to ensure the continuity of global supply chains.
Mr. Sosa added this is an opportunity for Vietnam and Latin American countries to boost trade cooperation.
More room for cooperation
Among 11 country members of the CPTPP, Mexico, Peru and Chile have pledged to immediately cut 77%, 80% and 95%, respectively, of import tariffs for Vietnamese goods and products.
Commercial counselor of Vietnam Trade Office in Mexico Luu Van Khang said Mexico remains a potential market for Vietnam’s seafood products, including frozen fish and shrimp, which are subject for 0% import duty in the third year of CPTPP.
The Mexican market imports US$351 million worth of frozen fish every year, added Mr. Khang.
“Requirement for market access in Mexico is not so strict compared to others, while Vietnamese firms can benefit from a large population and strong consumption demand ,” he continued.
Mexico currently is imposing a band on importing shrimp from Asian countries, including Vietnam. “Once the ban is lifted, Vietnamese products will have an opportunity to penetrate this market with a current tariff rate at 20%,” Mr, Khang asserted.
Le Hong Quang, the commercial counselor of the Vietnam Trade Office in Brazil, said Peru is another market that Vietnam traders should focus on, especially for textile and footwear products.
“Peruvian market imports footwear worth US$350 million every year. The CPTPP in place will help Vietnamese products gain advantages against those from China and Brazil,” Mr. Quang suggested.
In case of Chile, while the country has not ratified the CPTPP, Vietnam can utilize preferential treatments from bilateral trade agreement since 2011.
“Chile imports US$16-billion of consumer products every year, making it an attractive market for Vietnamese companies,” Sai Thi Thu Thuy, head of the Vietnam Trade Office in Chile, suggested.