With a positive economic outlook, the Ministry of Industry and Trade aims to increase exports by 6 percent in 2024, running a trade surplus for nine years in a row, estimated at US$15 billion.
Capitalizing on current free trade agreements (FTAs) and signing deals with new markets such as Israel or the UAE would be vital to foster trade, attract investments, and increase exports in the upcoming years, said the ministry.
Strong political ties with countries such as China, the US, and the EU have also created momentum for establishing economic, trade, and investment partnerships.
Import and export activities are forecast to become more active thanks to a less daunting global and domestic economic landscape.
Orders from the US, one of Vietnam’s major export markets, are expected to increase as the country has seen less bloated inventories and the US Federal Reserve is considering lowering interest rates.
The above-mentioned are incentives for key industries in Vietnam, such as textiles and fisheries, to set ambitious export goals for this year.
In particular, the textile industry hopes to reach an export turnover of $44 billion this year, a 9.2 percent increase compared to the $40.3 billion seen in 2023, said the Chairman of the Vietnam Textile and Apparel Association (VITAS) Truong Van Cam.
Fishery exports are expected to reach $9.5 billion and overcome immediate challenges, especially the yellow card warning for illegal, unreported, and unregulated fishing from the European Commission.
However, Vietnam’s exports still face challenges, such as being targeted by trade protectionism, defense mechanisms, and barriers in multiple countries, the ministry noted.
To tackle these problems, the ministry will carry out more trade negotiations, linkages, and agreements, as well as promote FTAs with potential partners such as the UAE and countries in South America, to diversify export markets, products, and supply chains, said deputy director general of the Agency of Foreign Trade Nguyen Cam Trang.
The agency will support firms in utilizing FTAs to boost exports and switch to official exports coupled with effective branding; work with localities, associations, and enterprises to expand markets and boost product consumption; and frequently update businesses on changes in export policies and criteria for them to devise strategic production plans, she added.
“We will also carry out large-scale trade promotion activities for key products in the targeted markets,” Trang said.
Vietnamese businesses are also still struggling with supply chain difficulties and high input prices, said economic expert Dr. Can Van Luc, adding that it is challenging for them to abruptly move to green production and a circular economy.
Luc said Vietnamese businesses need to diversify funding and supply sources, expand their markets, and connect with potential partners, as well as proactively opt for green production, green consumption, and circular economic practices.
Moreover, the global transition towards a green, sustainable economy has also created stricter requirements adhering to environmental protection and relevant regulations on imported products; thus, Vietnam should flexibly adopt green export measures.
For the textile industry, VITAS will apply measures to improving sustainable development, markets, human resources, science and technology, and fundraising, Cam said.
“We will continue to find more material supply sources and expand export markets through enhanced marketing activities and connecting with direct customers,” Cam said.
He said tax support policies are also a great way for textile businesses to increase production and have more resources to achieve green transformation and fulfill global market requirements.
Vietnamese trade offices in foreign countries must provide updates for policies and regulations for Government agencies and businesses to have proper solutions to increase exports, said Minister of Industry and Trade Nguyen Hong Dien.