Optimising Vietnam’s trade missions

Wednesday, 2018-02-21 16:30:04
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Trade missions play an important role in Vietnam's impressive export.
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NDO - Vietnam’s export sector performed strongly in 2017 with revenues expanding to more than US$213 billion, up 21.1% from the previous year. This new record was substantially contributed to by Vietnamese trade missions.

The trade missions completed their assigned tasks effectively through rigorous research into the markets where they are based and by providing support for domestic enterprises. They also worked closely with other agencies of the Vietnamese diplomatic missions.

Aside the positives, there were also a number of drawbacks in the operation of Vietnamese trade missions, some of which failed to cover all of their tasks, and lacked proactivity and cooperation on some occasions.

Furthermore, a number of trade missions had to cope with a growing workload while staff numbers remained inadequate. In some instances market research and contact with local partners were limited because none of the employees spoke local languages.

As representatives of the Vietnamese Ministry of Industry and Trade abroad, trade missions are entrusted with demanding tasks. In order to fulfil the targets set for 2018 and subsequent years, trade missions need to focus their efforts on promoting Vietnamese exports, prioritising new markets to help restructure Vietnam’s export markets, especially where Vietnamese goods currently have a small presence and where Vietnam has run a large trade deficit for prolonged periods.

Vietnamese trade missions should also take action to attract investment in advanced and environmentally friendly technologies, and projects that develop links between Vietnamese and foreign enterprises, while strengthening the relationship with local management agencies, as well as their capacity for researching the market environment and the economic, trade, and investment policies of the countries where they are based.

Trade missions should pay close attention to policy changes that could affect Vietnam’s exports, with special focus on agricultural goods and goods manufactured by labour-intensive sectors.

At the same time, it is necessary to give a high priority to trade promotion activities, support Vietnamese businesses to participate in fairs and exhibitions, and bring Vietnamese goods to local supply chains.