Photo for illustration (Source: vov.vn)
The statement was shared by experts during an online trade exchange held in Ho Chi Minh City on October 1 between Vietnam and Mercosur.
Deputy Minister of Industry and Trade Do Thang Hai noted that two-way trade turnover between Vietnam and the trade bloc has witnessed a 2.5 fold-increase for nearly a decade, from USD2.45 billion in 2011 to USD8.68 billion in 2019.
According to Hai, Vietnam has established a dialogue mechanism with almost every member of the Mercosur, while both sides are negotiating a bilateral trade agreement aimed at creating a level playing field for their businesses.
These talks are being held in the context of a resurgence of the COVID-19 epidemic, a factor which has had an adverse impact on bilateral trade exchanges. Eight-month trade between Vietnam and the Mecosur dropped by 1.66% to only USD5.53 billion against the same period last year.
Success in containing the COVID-19 epidemic is expected to create greater opportunities for Vietnamese businesses to strengthen the exchange of goods with Mercosur countries, while gradually improving the trade balance, Deputy Minister Hai emphasised.
With regard to the Argentinian market, Vietnamese Ambassador to Argentina Duong Quoc Thanh, stated that trade turnover between the two countries has reached approximately USD3 billion over the past five years and is anticipated to reach USD4 billion this year, making Vietnam Argentina’s largest trading partner from ASEAN. Indeed, Vietnam is currently Argentina's eighth largest trading partner.
Despite this, the country’s export turnover to Argentina reached only USD500 million, accounting for roughly 1.4% of the South American nation’s total annual import demand, which has opened up bright prospects for the export of Vietnamese goods, especially textiles, footwear, furniture, handicraft products, coffee, and pepper to the South American market.
Vietnamese Ambassador to Brazil Pham Thi Kim Hoa, revealed that Brazil is Vietnam’s largest trading partner in South America, while the latter is the former’s largest trading partner in Southeast Asia.
Brazilian consumers are particularly keen on Vietnamese seafood products, footwear, processed foods, beverages, and toys, although Vietnamese goods in this market remain modest, making up only 1.5% of the country’s total import turnover of goods per year.
Moving into the post-COVID-19 era, countries in South America are attempting to reshape the supply chain and diversify the supply of imported goods, therefore presenting a wealth of opportunities for local businesses to increase their exports. In addition, it offers a good chance for Vietnamese firms to expand their market share in the near future, according to the Vietnamese Ambassadors and representatives from Trade Offices based in Mercosur countries.
Established in 1991, Mercosur includes five official member countries including, Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay, Uruguay, and Venezuela, which makes Mercosur the world's fifth largest economy at present./.