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Vietnam: Exports to EU may surpass $10 bln in 2008

The Ministry of Industry and Trade (MoIT) has predicted that Vietnam’s export to the European Union will reach $10.4 billion in 2008, a year-on-year rise of 23.5%.

High increases are forecast for textiles and garments, footwear, seafood, wooden products and coffee. In particular, footwear is expected to remain the country’s major staple with export revenues estimated at $2.7 billion. The EU is currently the world’s second largest importer of Vietnam’s footwear after the US. It bought $2.1 billion worth of footwear from Vietnam in 2007, representing 7.2% of its total import value of the item. In recent years, the EU’s footwear import reaches $29 billion each year. Although textiles and garments are expected to bring home around $1.65 billion, it will be considerably affected by the EU’s removal of quota for China’s textiles and garments this year.

The EU is also the biggest consumer of Vietnamese coffee, accounting for around half of the country’s coffee export value. The nation’s coffee export to the EU is forecast to fetch $820 million this year, a slight reduction compared with 2007 due to the decrease in domestic production output. Meanwhile, seafood export to the EU is expected to reach $1.15 billion, a year-on-year rise of 25%, and wooden products, around $780 million, a year-on-year surge of 30%.

To fully tap the EU market’s potential, the MoIT advised export businesses to strengthen their foothold in Germany, the UK, France, the Netherlands and Belgium, while seeking more outlets in new EU markets like the Czech Republic, Hungary and Poland. In 2007, Viet Nam earned $8.5 billion from exports to the EU, a year-on-year rise of 19%, accounting for 18% of the country’s total trade turnover. (Mathaba)