Tra fish processing in An Giang province (Photo: VNA)
Despite the difficulties posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, Vietnam can still reach its annual export growth target of 7-8 percent if market opportunities are optimised, experts have said.
Incentives provided under the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) and the EU-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA) are expected to spur production and exports in the time ahead.
Figures reveal that export revenue in April stood at 19.7 billion USD, down 18.4 percent against March and 3.5 percent year-on-year.
The decline was seen in most groups of commodities, particularly the processing industry, which fell 20 percent against March to just 16.4 billion USD, and fuels and minerals, which shrank 18.6 percent to 247 million USD.
Export value reached 82.94 billion USD in the first four months of this year, up 4.7 percent year-on-year.
April import revenue, meanwhile, was 20.4 billion USD, down 7.9 percent against March and 2.3 percent year-on-year. The figure was 79.89 billion USD in the four-month period, a year-on-year rise of 2.1 percent.
Vietnam posted a trade deficit of 700 million USD in April but a trade surplus of 3.04 billion USD in the first four months of the year - much higher than the 983 million USD recorded in the corresponding period last year.
Foreign enterprises reported a trade surplus of 10.17 billion USD while domestic enterprises reported a deficit of 7.13 billion USD.
Experts said that after significant growth in the first quarter, trade in April began to feel the effects of COVID-19.
However, the country’s exports are expected to bounce back in the second half of this year and will continue to be the engine of the national economy if the pandemic can be contained in the second quarter. Global demand would then be in a recovery stage and Vietnam would benefit from the competitive edge provided by the EVFTA.
The agreement is expected to promote Vietnam’s export to the EU in the years to come, as duties on up to 70 percent of goods will be reduced and import duties on 99.7 percent of tax lines will be eliminated.
The Vietnamese Government and ministries and agencies have also adopted measures to address difficulties faced by enterprises from COVID-19.
Another good sign is the official results of the US Department of Commerce (DOC)’s 15th period of review (POR15) which lowered anti-dumping tariffs on tra and basa fish imports from Vietnam.
The final anti-dumping tax rate on local businesses that responded to a questionnaire and cooperated with DOC has been set at 0.15 USD per kilogram (equivalent to 3.8 percent of the export price) - much lower than the rate set in POR14 of 1.37 USD per kilogram.
Tra fish and basa fish products shipped to the US between August 1, 2017, and July 31, 2018, will be subject to the tax rate.
Most major Vietnamese tra and basa fish exporters will continue to enjoy the tax exemption.
To remove difficulties relating to exports, the Ministry of Industry and Trade has urged localities, associations, and organisations to step up the application of IT in trade promotion efforts.
Regarding China, the ministry has worked to enhance customs clearance at border gates and ensure trade activities in border areas.VNA