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Gov’t to help businesses boost exports   2009-02-16 - VNS

Checking dragon fruit for export at the Duy Lan Farmhouse in Binh Thuan southern province. The National Assembly has set an export target of US$70.85 billion for this year.

 The Ministry of Industry and Trade will focus on helping businesses boost exports and overcome the economic recession, a top official said.

Speaking on Thursday at a meeting held in HCM City, Deputy Minister of Industry and Trade Nguyen Thanh Bien also urged other ministries and agencies to assist businesses in increasing exports of key products like garments, footwear, and agricultural and fishery items.

Exports have slumped, with almost all key items showing a drop from last year, as key markets like the US, EU, and Japan shrunk as a result of the global economic crisis.

Crude oil exports in January fell 52.4 per cent in value compared with a year earlier, garments by 33 per cent, and electronics by 35 per cent.

Seafood and coffee exports fell 18.6 per cent and 30 per cent.

Businesses also face fierce competition on the world market, forcing them to improve their products’ quality and offer competitive prices to maintain their market share.

Measures

The National Assembly has set an export target of US$70.85 billion for this year, wanting businesses to boost production and exports as a key measure to sustain economic growth.

The Ministry of Industry and Trade has called for businesses to shift to high-value products for export and reduce shipments of semi-processed goods and raw materials.

It has also urged commercial banks to speed up lending of interest-subsidised credit to businesses, especially small- and medium-sized firms, to help them quickly raise funds for production of export goods.

But trade officials point out that the main issue now is not funds but markets for products.

Businesses are hard-pressed to find markets for their products because of the falling global demand.

The ministry said they should make efforts to increase exports to North Africa, the Middle East, and Latin America and not only to traditional markets like the US, EU, and Japan.

It plans to help them promote exports through trade fairs and other promotional programmes.



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