Lo­cal firms pre­pare to cap­i­talise on up­com­ing trade agree­ments

With the com­ple­tion of the ASEAN Eco­nomic Com­mu­nity just around the cor­ner and other sig­nif­i­cant trade deals in­clud­ing the TransPa­cific Part­ner­ships pend­ing, Viet­namese com­pa­nies are look­ing to po­si­tion them­selves to make the most of th­ese lat­est steps to

Outlook - - CONTENTS - By Nguyeãn Thu Haø

With the com­ple­tion of the ASEAN Eco­nomic Com­mu­nity just around the cor­ner and other sig­nif­i­cant trade deals in­clud­ing the Trans-Pa­cific Part­ner­ships pend­ing, Viet­namese com­pa­nies are look­ing to po­si­tion them­selves to make the most of th­ese lat­est steps to­wards global in­te­gra­tion.

After many years of fo­cus­ing on the US and EU mar­kets, Gar­ment Cor­po­ra­tion 10 has de­cided to di­ver­sify its ex­port out­lets to avoid de­pen­dence on just a few mar­kets.

The cor­po­ra­tion has so far re­ceived the first or­ders to ship its prod­ucts to the ASEAN coun­tries.

The cor­po­ra­tion's di­rec­tor Thaân Ñöùc Vieät, said that like other Viet­namese ex­porters, his company is boost­ing mar­ket di­ver­si­fi­ca­tion plans, es­pe­cially when Vieät Nam is pre­par­ing for join­ing the ASEAN Eco­nomic Com­mu­nity (ACE) late next year and the Trans-Pa­cific Part­ner­ship in the fu­ture.

Vieät Nam's fur­ther in­te­gra­tion into the global econ­omy with the sign­ing of the two above­men­tioned his­toric agree­ments is ex­pected to open up ma­jor op­por­tu­ni­ties for Viet­namese ex­porters. They would be able to di­ver­sify their ex­port mar­kets and in­crease their ex­port rev­enue just as it hap­pened after Vieät Nam joined the World Trade Or­gan­i­sa­tion.

Seven years since join­ing the WTO, Vieät Nam has jumped 13 spots to the 37th po­si­tion among ex­port­ing coun­tries and ter­ri­to­ries across the world, ac­cord­ing to in­for­ma­tion re­leased at a re­view of WTO mem­bers in Geneva late last year.

The Min­istry of In­dus­try and Trade (MoIT) has fore­cast that the coun­try's ex­ports to the ASEAN mar­ket would in­crease when the AEC is signed in late 2015. It added that with a pop­u­la­tion of 600 mil­lion, ge­o­graph­i­cal prox­im­ity and hav­ing sim­i­lar tastes as Vieät Nam, ASEAN would be a sta­ble and po­ten­tial mar­ket for Viet­namese prod­ucts.

The min­istry ex­plained that when the AEC is formed, almost 100 per cent of ASEAN tar­iffs would be zero per cent and Vieät Nam can sell goods to the ASEAN mar­ket in ways that are sim­i­lar to sell­ing in do­mes­tic mar­kets be­cause of sim­pli­fied trade pro­ce­dures and new pro­ce­dures for cer­ti­fy­ing the ori­gins of prod­ucts.

Vieät Nam's key ex­port sta­ples to ASEAN will also not have to face risks caused by trade bar­ri­ers and com­pet­i­tive traps such as anti-sub­sidy and anti-dump­ing im­posed by ma­jor mar­kets such as the US and the EU, the min­istry said.

Chal­lenges ahead

The trade turnover be­tween Vieät Nam and ASEAN has quadru­pled over the past decade, climb­ing to nearly US$40 bil- lion in 2013 from $9 bil­lion in 2003. But ex­perts said it is not com­men­su­rate with po­ten­tial as do­mes­tic en­ter­prises have not yet taken full ad­van­tage of the ge­o­graph­i­cal prox­im­ity and in­cen­tives of­fered by trade agree­ments, in­clud­ing the ASEAN Trade in Goods Agree­ment (ATIGA).

The fig­ure has also tended to stag­nate, and even fall in the first half of this year when the growth rate of the rev­enue from Vieät Nam's ex­ports to the ASEAN mar­kets was only 3.6 per cent com­pared with the coun­try's av­er­age ex­port growth rate of 13.2 per cent.

Ex­perts at­trib­uted the low growth rate of ex­ports to the ASEAN mar­ket to the fact that Viet­namese ex­porters had not paid at­ten­tion to that mar­ket in the past years. In­stead, they only

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