In an interview with World & Vietnam Newspaper, Mr. To Ngoc Son, Deputy Director of the Asia-Africa Market Department (Ministry of Industry and Trade) commented above on the partner role of Vietnam and China in the overall cooperation process. bilateral trade.
How do you evaluate the two-way trade between Vietnam and China recently?
In the overall picture of Vietnam’s foreign trade, China is always one of the most important trading partners. Vietnam has also become one of China’s leading trading partners in the world and region.
Geographical advantages, complementarity in economic structure and import-export goods combined with a fairly complete legal corridor for trade (both members of 2 Free Trade Agreements including The ASEAN-China Free Trade Agreement and the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement are the driving force that creates continuous growth for many years for bilateral trade.
In 2004, China officially became Vietnam’s largest trading partner. After 20 years, that position continues to be maintained, Vietnam has become China’s largest trading partner in ASEAN, China’s sixth largest trading partner in the world in 2022.
According to Vietnamese statistics, by 2022, bilateral trade scale will reach 175.56 billion USD. Of which, exports to China reached 57.7 billion USD; Imports from China reached 117.8 billion USD. China is the largest source of goods and the second largest export market of Vietnam.
According to Vietnamese statistics, in 2022, the scale of bilateral trade between the two countries has reached 175.56 billion USD. Of which, exports to China reached 57.7 billion USD; Imports from China reached 117.8 billion USD. China is the largest source of goods and the second largest export market of Vietnam.
In the first 8 months of 2023, in the context of general difficulties of the world economy, Vietnam’s export turnover to China still reached 36.6 billion USD, an increase of 2.37%; Trade deficit was 32.2 billion USD, down 30.49% over the same period.
With the world’s second largest population and economy, China has a huge demand for importing processed food, beverages, agricultural products, and tropical seafood from Vietnam.
Meanwhile, Vietnam’s increasingly deep participation in regional and global production and supply chains; Industrial and manufacturing products such as electronic equipment, telephones, electric cables, metals, textiles, garments, leather and footwear… have become the main product group and a growth driver for exports to the market. school of billions of people.
On the contrary, with a central role in the regional and global production chain, known as the “world factory”, China is a source of goods and important input materials for manufacturing industries. domestic and export products such as chemicals, fabrics, textile and garment materials, leather and shoes, machinery and equipment…
Over the past year, Vietnam’s durian has been mainly exported to China, accounting for 95% of the country’s total export value of this product group. In your opinion, in the coming years, what should Vietnam do to bring durian more accessible to Chinese customers?
Under the efforts of relevant ministries and branches, the two countries have signed many protocols on animal and plant quarantine for many types of Vietnamese agricultural products, opening up opportunities for “official” access and export. go to the Chinese market for Vietnam’s strong agricultural products such as durian, bananas, sweet potatoes…
This contributes to creating new growth points for Vietnam’s fruit and vegetable exports, especially durian fruit – a high-value fruit that is very popular with Chinese consumers.
China is a country oriented towards developing high-quality trade. Accordingly, in recent years, this country’s authorities have continuously strengthened measures to strictly control the quality and origin of goods imported from the world (including Vietnam), especially in the areas of import and export. goods related to human health such as food, agricultural products…
In my opinion, China is not an “easy” market as mistakenly assumed by some domestic businesses in the previous period. Therefore, to continue to maintain and expand sustainable exports of fruits and vegetables, including durian to the Chinese market, businesses, people, local governments and domestic management agencies need to:
Firstly, proactively meet regulations on growing areas, packaging facilities, quality standards, label packaging, traceability, business registration… of the Chinese market; At the same time, strictly manage the use of registered growing area codes and packaging facility codes when exporting to this market.
Second, organize planting and production areas according to the mayor’s signal; Do not allow a massive increase in planting area, leading to oversupply and unsafe product quality when grown in unsuitable soil areas.
Third, focus on building brands, promoting trade, and bringing products deep into China’s domestic market.
In the coming time, the Ministry of Industry and Trade will also closely coordinate with the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development and relevant ministries and localities to coordinate closely with the Chinese side to speed up the process of negotiating and signing the Resolution. animal and plant quarantine protocol with your side to open the market for Vietnamese agricultural products that have the capacity to produce and export to this market.
At the same time, push the Chinese side to increase the number of border gates allowed to import agricultural and aquatic products; Promote propaganda, dissemination and guidance on regulations and standards of this country’s market to Vietnamese localities and businesses.
What do Vietnamese businesses need to do to increase export turnover in a market of billions of people?
China is the world’s leading consumer market, a market that most businesses in the world want to conquer. To fully exploit potential markets and increase the scale of bilateral trade in a more balanced direction, Vietnamese businesses need to take advantage of the advantages of commercial legal corridors, geographical location, and consumer culture. used closely.
In terms of awareness, the fact that China has been and continues to develop high-quality trade with strict requirements and standards is an inevitable and irreversible trend. Faced with this reality, businesses have no choice but to proactively seriously meet this market’s regulations and standards for imported goods.
In terms of action, businesses need to quickly and strongly shift to “official” export through international and bilateral border gates; Minimize and eventually stop “small quota” exports – which pose many potential risks.
It is necessary to coordinate with Chinese import enterprises to diversify border gates for import and export goods, diversifying forms of transportation (sea, rail) to reduce the risk of congestion at border gates.
In addition, businesses proactively and actively seek opportunities to bring goods to China’s domestic market areas. With a large population and growing potential, each locality in China can be equivalent to the market size of a country. Meanwhile, many Vietnamese businesses have not yet delved into exploitation, or even approached the country’s potential inland localities.
At the same time, it is necessary to research exporting goods to the Chinese market through modern distribution systems, especially cross-border e-commerce.
For its part, in the future, the Ministry of Industry and Trade will continue to coordinate with Chinese partners to organize more trade and investment promotion activities in the industrial sector to create more opportunities. Association to connect and trade between the two countries’ business communities, thereby further expanding the scale and improving the quality of bilateral trade.