Shaping Viet Nam’s National Export Strategy

20 September 2022
ITC News

Business and public-sector representatives address local challenges and explore solutions for Viet Nam’s export competitiveness

Viet Nam has experienced impressive economic and social growth in recent years. The country has taken steps to attract private investment and improve its economic governance, including creating Free Trade Agreements to boost opportunities for small businesses.

ITC estimates that Viet Nam has an untapped export potential amounting to nearly $140 billion. However, challenges for sustainable growth remain. To spur growth in sectors with high potential for inclusive, socioeconomic development, the International Trade Centre (ITC) is working to reinforce Viet Nam’s national export strategy, business support organizations and public-private dialogue. ITC also works towards strengthening the domestic private sector, upgrade production, help integrate environmental sustainability and encourage inclusiveness.

It does so through its Viet Nam: Trade Policy and Promotion Project (2020-2024), which offers trade-related technical assistance to small businesses. Funded by SECO, ITC facilitates the updated national export strategy and develops a public-private dialogue platform for export development. Vietrade – ITC’s trade promotion partner in Viet Nam – has been mandated to establish a Grants Fund for business support organizations that supports exporting small and medium-sized enterprises.

ITC will provide a blueprint for developing the country’s export competitiveness across five priority sectors (electronics, environmental goods, wood and furniture, agribusiness, and textile and garment) and five cross-sectoral areas (digital transformation, innovation and entrepreneurship, quality, standards and certifications, sustainability and inclusiveness, and trade facilitation). These functions offer critical support across the value chain and are essential for development. They also ensure a spill-over effect that goes beyond the priority sectors.

The priority sectors and cross-cutting functions strategies will provide national and international development partners with a costed plan for trade-related support.

Workshop and consultations

To reach further consensus on the national export strategy, the SECO-funded SwissTrade Programme together with ITC organized a workshop and consultations with all national stakeholders on 19 and 20 September in Hanoi.

The International Trade Centre’s Executive Director Pamela Coke-Hamilton, Madam Nguyen Thuy Hien, Deputy Director, Planning Department, Ministry of Industry and Trade of Vietnam, and Chargée d’Affairs of Switzerland in Viet Nam, Nicole Wyrsch joined Vietnamese industry leaders, small business owners and public sector officials to discuss the challenges exporters are facing. They also explored solutions that could feed into the plan of actions of the Vietnam’s Import - Export Strategy (NIES).

At the opening of the event, Madam Nguyen Thuy Hien, Deputy Director, Planning Department, Ministry of Industry and Trade of Vietnam said: “Export development is Viet Nam’s driving force for a fast and sustainable economic growth. Setting clear goals within strategic frameworks will contribute to promote our country’s competitive advantages, strengthen Vietnamese products in international markets, and enhance our position in the global trading system."

Pamela Coke-Hamilton, Executive Director of ITC added: “‘Viet Nam has an amazing story to tell of export-led growth, prosperity and inclusion. I am thrilled that ITC has been able to partner with the Ministry of Industry and Trade and the Swiss Government to help Viet Nam create new pathways to trade success.”

"Switzerland's support focuses on promoting sustainability standards, de-carbonization/low-carbon production, digital trade promotion as well as compliance with the rules-based trade system. Adapting to those modern-day requirements is in the direct interest of Vietnam and will strengthen the country's international competitiveness and further integration in the global economy," concluded Nicole Wyrsch, Chargée d'Affaires at the Embassy of Switzerland in Viet Nam.