Bright prospects for exporters

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Many textile and garment enterprises have had orders until the end of the third quarter of 2022. Photo: H.Dieu
Many textile and garment enterprises have had orders until the end of the third quarter of 2022. Photo: H.Dieu

Abundant orders

Despite being heavily affected by the Covid-19 pandemic over the past two years, a representative of Hanoi Trade Corporation (Hapro) said that Hapro's export situation at the beginning of this year has shown positive signs.

The company has actively signed contracts and exported goods since the beginning of the new year. The number of items exported by Hapro in the spring reached nearly 70 20-foot containers, including items such as rice and handicrafts to major markets including the US and China.

The Vietnam Association of Seafood Exporters and Producers (VASEP) expects seafood exports will grow well, in which shrimp exports would continue to make a good impression in 2022. Fruit and vegetable exports are also aiming to reach US$3.8-4 billion in value. The textile and garment industry strives to export under three scenarios depending on the pandemic situation, but it must reach at least US$38 billion and the highest is US$43.5 billion.

Hapro’s representative said, from 2021, even during the pandemic, thanks to the strategy of restructuring and boosting export activities in the direction of streamlining, safety, and efficiency, combining online trading methods to seek customers, as well as market expansion, Hapro's products have been present and promoted with international customers in nearly 80 countries and regions around the world. The main export items include agricultural products, foodstuffs, processed foods, and handicrafts.

According to the latest information from the General Department of Customs, the export turnover of goods in January 2022 was estimated at US$30.845 billion, up 8.1% over the same period last year, with a trade surplus of nearly US$1.4 billion. In particular, in January 2022, there were seven items with export turnover of more than US$1 billion, accounting for 63.3% of total export turnover such as electronic components, textiles, wood and wood products, and footwear.

This growth momentum comes from businesses having abundant orders. The survey results of the General Statistics Office on quarterly production and business trends of processing and manufacturing enterprises showed that 83.2% of businesses forecast an increase in the number of new orders in the first quarter of 2022, only 16.8% forecast a decrease.

Specifically, for textile and garment enterprises, the number of orders was available until the third quarter of 2022. Pham Anh Tuan, Director of 76 - Z76 One Member Company Limited (Ministry of National Defense), said that the business has received orders until the third quarter of 2022. According to businesses, some items did not have orders in 2021 but now have orders until the end of the third quarter of 2022. Along with that, many enterprises in other export industries such as footwear, electronics, iron and steel also confirmed signed export orders for the first quarter of 2022.

Conquer markets, seize opportunities

In 2021, Vietnam’s exports faced many difficulties, not only because of social distancing, some markets causing difficulties, but also high transportation costs, fluctuations in petrol prices, and trade remedies. In 2022, difficulties are forecast to continue and be unpredictable, which may "eat away" the profits of businesses despite abundant orders.

A representative of an export enterprise said orders were abundant, but many businesses were still facing difficulties due to lack of labor, lack of raw materials for production, increase in freight rates by 30-40% compared to before and a series of surcharges, so production costs increased.

Meanwhile, the selling price has not increased much, or must remain the same to maintain prestige with partners. Therefore, many enterprises said that they must maintain low profits to be able to produce seamlessly, gradually recover and develop more in the following years.

Additionally, export goods of enterprises, especially agricultural units, still have many disadvantages such as not being of good quality, so they can only export through quotas, leading to a dependence on import and export policies of partner markets. Along with that is the loss of brand name and loss of copyright to "competitors" in other countries.

However, opportunities are still opening up for Vietnamese businesses. In particular, it is important to take advantage of Free Trade Agreements (FTA) to promote exports. The assessment by the Ministry of Industry and Trade showed that the Government's efforts to open the market through bilateral and multilateral trade negotiations to remove barriers, make standards and regulations transparent in partner markets helped exports have more balanced growth, not only in terms of breadth but also depth.

Vietnam's export goods have now reached the markets that are considered the "most difficult" in the world. Previously, the Asian Development Bank (ADB) in Vietnam assessed that Vietnam and other Asian countries continued to receive many orders in 2022 as production recovers and increased demand in many major markets such as the US, EU, and Japan.

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Businesses have high expectations for export activities despite facing many difficulties. However, for the growth to be even higher, according to experts, they must continuously innovate, keep pace with market trends, promote digital transformation, and increase capacity and competitiveness.

These are long-term development directions, requiring a long-term view from each enterprise, so that Vietnamese enterprises can go further in the international market.

By Huong Diu/ Ha Thanh

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