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Reducing trade deficit: Increasing competition ability, pushing up export

(VLR) (Vietnam Logistics Review) Thanks to increasing export, in the last 2 months, the country’s trade deficit has decrease around USD 701m. However, the figure is not stable. The question is how to escape from a worry of trade deficit.

(Vietnam Logistics Review) Thanks to increasing export, in the last 2 months, the country’s trade deficit has decrease around USD 701m. However, the figure is not stable. The question is how to escape from a worry of trade deficit.

The total reduced, separated ones increasing

According to statistics from Customs General Department, from the beginning of the year to September 15th, total import- export turnover of the country reached around USD 289.14bn, an increase of 21.4% (increasing USD 50.91bn) year-over- year: export turnover reached USD 144.22bn, an increase of 20.1% (increasing USD 24.14bn) and the country’s import turnover reached USD 144.92bn, an increase of 22.7%.

Till the first half of September, the country’s trade deficit has decreased to USD 701m, equally to 0.5% of the country’s export turnover. Many experts said it is a good signals after 6 months with high trade deficit, higher than the norm assigned by the Assembly.

Representative of the Ministry of Industry - Commerce said there was trade deficit due to disbursements from both local projects and foreign direct investments projects, which lead to the need of importing machines, equipment, spare parts, steels… When many projects come into progress, the import will reduce.

But in some markets, there have been high trade deficit. For example, in Thailand markets, in the first 8 months of the year, trade deficit reached USD 3.5bn, an increase of 15.6% year - over –year. Five largest imported products from Thailand are electric household and accessories (USD 646m), vegetable (USD 618m), car (USD 432m) petroleum of all kinds (USD 406m), plastic materials (USD 403m), automobile spare parts (USD 340m).

What is mentioning is that imported products are mainly consuming goods and food... many of them can be produced locally or in abundance.

According to Le Hoang Oanh - Director of Asia and Africa Market Department (the Ministry of Industry - Commerce), the cause of trade deficit is Vietnam is implementing the roadmap of reducing taxes in accordance to ATIGA, 90% of total imported taxes from Thailand is removed and the number will be 98% next year. Thailand has had a large budget for trade promotion, establishing sustainable delivery channels on the basis of using “xenophile”. This is an advantage for Thai enterprises and goods entering the market.

Increasing competition ability, pushing up export

A question is raised: with the same tax reduction, the same structure, there is export surplus from Thailand? Will there be a psychology of xenophile? The answer is simple: ours are weak: no strategy for every country and products; small budget for trade promotion, no cooperation among enterprises, and the fear “our products are not as good as Thai ones”.

In fact, there are many customers who are fond of Thai products for they trust their quality. The basic reason is our competition abilities are still weak.

So, where are solutions for the matter? Many experts said there should be synchronous solutions and they should be implemented with high spirit of responsibility from the State to enterprises (consumers has a requirement only: good quality, reasonable price-PV).

In a meeting on trade deficit from Thailand hold by the Ministry of Industry - Commerce, Nguyen Phu Cuong Director of Science and Technology Department said there should be technological barriers to import, and these barriers will be used to increase competition abilities for export goods.

Representative of Trade Promotion Department said there should be an export increase to markets that Vietnam has trade deficit from by improving production abilities, quality, products values and national brands as well.

The Ministry of Industry- Commerce said it will focus on solutions to solve difficulties for local production and for projects of producing export goods till the end of the year to push up export. It will also improve work of updating market information and problem solving for market barriers. Free trade agreements will be widely informed to enterprises and there will be assistance for measurements of trade protection. Barriers will be removed, facilitating export goods, especially agriculture, aqua- products, to enter new markets.

Forecast from the Ministry of Industry - Commerce, export turnover in 2017 will reach USD 202bn, an increase of 14.4% year-over-year, and surpass the Assembly’s assigned target. Import in 2017 is predicted to reach USD 205bn, an increase of 17.3% year-over-year. Trade deficit is around USD 3bn, equally to 1.49% import-export turnover.

Many experts said, besides above solution, there should be business people with the same sense of purpose building national brand, which contribute in the progress of reducing trade deficit, and aim to sustainable export.

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