Vietnam becomes second-largest exporter to US market

Vietnam advanced by four notches, from sixth place in 2015 to second place in 2020 in the list of the largest exporting countries to the US market. However, Vietnam's exports currently account for only 2.7 percent of the total imports of the US. It shows that the room of the US market for Vietnamese exporters is still large.
The production of wooden furniture at Truong Thanh Wood Processing Joint Stock Company. (Photo: SGGP)
The production of wooden furniture at Truong Thanh Wood Processing Joint Stock Company. (Photo: SGGP)
Diversifying export products

Regarding this matter, the Vietnam Trade Office in the US said that first of all, a strong breakthrough in trade turnover must be mentioned, especially Vietnam's exports to the US. In the past 25 years, since the two countries established diplomatic relations in 1995, the US data shows that two-way trade turnover has increased from US$450 million to $75.7 billion at the end of 2019. From the beginning of this year, despite the negative impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic, Vietnam's export turnover to the US is estimated at approximately $80 billion.

It is expected that the export turnover of goods, in general, will reach about $267 billion for the whole year. Of which, the import turnover is about $260 billion, and trade surplus $7 billion. The US has remained the largest export market of Vietnam for many years and will maintain its position in the coming time, making a significant contribution to market expansion for production development and increasing foreign currency revenues. However, according to analysts, at present, the structure of export products has also changed significantly. Besides the commodity groups with traditional strengths, such as textiles, footwear, and seafood, the groups of manufactured goods, including electronic products, components, and wooden products, have also risen to the top place.

Besides trade cooperation, cooperation in many new sectors is being promoted, such as investment, research and development of science and technology, and service fields, including transportation, education, telecommunications, and energy. The diverse range of cooperation will create a foundation for a substantial, in-depth, and sustainable connection between the two economies in the coming time.

Mr. Do Thang Hai, Deputy Minister of Industry and Trade, affirmed that the above results were achieved, thanks to the efforts of the business community in exploiting market opportunities from the two complementary economies and the actively supportive companionship of the two Governments. The improving production capacity of Vietnam is attributable to the strong domestic and foreign investment attraction in a deeply-integrated economic environment. It will create conditions to exploit new business opportunities efficiently. Moreover, connections are more and more completed in traffic, telecommunications, finance, and banking, contributing to improving business performance. Especially, the shift in the global supply chains, especially after being accelerated by the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, will open up more opportunities for both sides.

Enhancing internal forces to increase competitiveness

According to statistics of the US International Trade Commission, Vietnam's exports merely account for 2.7 percent of the US total import value of more than $3 trillion from all countries and territories. It shows that the market space for Vietnamese exporters remains extremely large.

In the opposite direction, many enterprises said that along with opportunities to increase export market share in the US market, they also face several challenges and difficulties. Mr. Vu Duc Giang, Chairman of Vietnam Textile and Apparel Association, assessed that the US had always been the largest import market globally and would continue to hold the leading position for many more years. However, this attractive market is also the most competitive one. Vietnamese enterprises will have to compete with competitors from all over the world. Moreover, in this market, the demand changes rapidly. There are always new and higher requirements that require quick adaptation from the suppliers.

Besides, enterprises also have to face changes in trade management measures and policies, especially trade remedies. It is a big challenge for foreign exporters, including Vietnam, especially those that have not collected enough necessary information, resources, and experience to join and withstand the competitive pressures in this fastidious market.

According to Mr. Do Thang Hai, the export opportunities of Vietnam in the coming time will continue to belong to the group of textiles, footwear, seafood, electronics, components, and wooden furniture. However, each commodity group will possibly face different difficulties from the market or the policy environment. With the group of agricultural products and fresh fruits, there will be many opportunities to expand the market, with the process of completing the preservation technology and the distribution chain. As for mechanical and manufactured products, they will also have the opportunity to gradually participate in the market, thanks to the increasing production capacity of Vietnamese enterprises. Therefore, Vietnamese enterprises need to actively research and import from the US high-tech machinery and equipment for production and export. Using technology and raw materials imported from the US for the production and export to the US, along with building a closed supply chain, will be the fastest, most reliable, and fruitful move for enterprises.

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