Online trade connections between Vietnamese firms and import partners were being increased together with trade promotion activities to accelerate post-pandemic export, Deputy Minister of Industry and Trade Do Thang Hai said.
|Containers transporting agricultural products to China via Kim Thanh International Border Gate No 2. (Photo: VNA)
Vietnam’s trade slumped in April because of COVID-19 after posting positive growth in the first three months of this year.
Statistics showed Vietnam’s export revenue last month dropped by 18.4% against March to US$197 billion, a 3.5% decrease over the same period last year.
Vietnam saw declines in April to all major export markets including ASEAN which was down 20% against March, China by 2.9%, Japan by 9.3%, the Republic of Korea 13.7%, Europe by 28.6% and the US 24.1%.
The Ministry of Industry and Trade predicted the impact of the pandemic would be more apparent in the second quarter of this year because from mid-March the US, EU and Japan were hit hard by the virus.
According to the ministry, COVID-19 affected Vietnam’s export in five main ways.
The first was a sharp drop in demand for goods. Since March, when the disease had a serious global effect, measures were taken to control the spread.
Many import partners postponed planned orders for April and May and had not begun negotiations for orders from June onwards.
Other aspects were restrictions in trade exchanges, slowness in customs clearance due to quarantine requirements and cancellations which put companies under a lot of pressure.
Falling prices also negatively affected Vietnam’s export. For example, cashew prices fell by 12.9%, coffee by 2.2%, tea by 13.1%, pepper by 19%, crude oil by 77.3%.
Hai said that moving online is crucial for Vietnam to seek new partners and accelerate exports.
In addition, focus would be placed on removing difficulties to facilitate trade with China.
Regarding long-term solutions, the ministry will develop a trade database to improve trade connectivity.
The ministry is also hastening the procedures for the approval of the EU-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA) as well as issuance of instructions for implementing the trade deal effectively.
At the same time, administrative and customs procedures would be further simplified to create favourable conditions for trade, Hai said.