Businesses overcome barriers to deeply penetrate the US market


Wide door opened for export Startups to the US marketWide door opened for export Startups to the US market
The opportunities for businesses to exploit the US marketThe opportunities for businesses to exploit the US market
Businesses overcome barriers to deeply penetrate the US market
The US remains Vietnam’s largest export market. Photo: Internet

Potential Market

According to the latest statistics from the General Department of Customs (as of May 11), Vietnam’s total export turnover in the first four months of 2024 reached US$123.99 billion, an increase of 15.1% (equivalent to an increase of US$16.26 billion) compared to the same period last year. Notably, the five largest and most impressive growth markets are the US, China, the EU, ASEAN, and Hong Kong (China).

Thus, the US continues to be Vietnam’s largest export market and one of the fastest-growing markets.

Specifically, the total export turnover to the US reached US$34.72 billion, an increase of 21.2% (equivalent to an increase of US$6.07 billion) compared to the same period last year. In the past four months, major export groups to the US included: computers, electronic products, and components reaching US$6.8 billion, up 43.8%; machinery, equipment, tools, and parts reaching US$5.64 billion, up 5.7%; textiles reaching US$4.4 billion, up 5.7%; phones and components reaching US$3.81 billion, up 21.8%; wood and wood products reaching USUS$2.66 billion, up 31.9%; and various types of footwear reaching US$2.4 billion, up 14.2%.

Experts evaluated that the trade breakthrough with the US market was a positive signal for Vietnam’s economy, especially in the context of the high USD exchange rate, providing better profit margins for businesses. This helps Vietnam diversify its markets and reduce dependence on China. It serves as a platform for Vietnamese goods to meet higher production standards, opening many opportunities in high-quality markets.

In an interview, Nguyen Liem, Chairman of the Binh Duong Wood Processing Association, noted that the US has always been the primary export market for the wood industry. Increasing exports to the US have contributed to positive results for the wood industry in the early months of 2024. Exports to this market accounted for 53.5% of the total export turnover of wood and wood products.

US importers highly value and identify Vietnam as a key supplier of wood and wood products, particularly in the important global furniture segment. This is evident as the US is the largest market for Vietnam’s wood and wood products, and Vietnam is the number one supplier of wooden furniture to the US. This foundation offers significant potential for export breakthroughs if businesses can seize the opportunities.

Notably, in recent times, many wood industry businesses have quickly studied market trends and shifted from processing exports to designing new, attractive, and high-quality models, which have been highly appreciated by international buyers. This is a good sign that Vietnam’s wood processing and furniture industry is on the right track, not only increasing export turnover but also gradually enhancing the position and brand of Vietnam’s wood products in the international market.

Barriers to overcome

Despite many potentials and advantages, experts noted that to deeply penetrate this demanding market, besides supply capacity and competitive prices, Vietnamese businesses must also meet the US market’s standards and regulations, including requirements for certification, clean products, safety, and environmental responsibility.

At the recent “Global market penetration” workshop held in Ho Chi Minh City, a representative from the US Agency for International Development (USAID) indicated that while Vietnamese businesses export many products worldwide, groups such as seafood, agricultural products, food, pharmaceuticals, and beverages still face numerous trade barriers. This is primarily because most Vietnamese businesses have not fully accessed or thoroughly understood the regulations regarding food and drug safety when importing, as well as the procedures and processes to enter stringent markets like the US.

Nguyen Thi Bich Thuy, Deputy Head of the Small and Medium Enterprises Department under the Business Development Agency (Ministry of Planning and Investment), mentioned that many businesses wanted to expand their markets and export products globally but did not know where to start. What they currently lack is a strategy to guide them on meeting US standards, where to apply, and which agencies can issue certifications. To achieve this, they need consulting units to help small and medium enterprises access information most effectively.

In reality, the output market is always a significant and challenging equation not only for small and medium enterprises but also for large companies. Especially for high-end markets like the US and the EU, getting Vietnamese products and goods into these markets is always a key objective for Vietnamese businesses. Traditional business models require significant effort to access international markets.

Additionally, small and medium units need to gradually make their operations and financial data transparent to build trust with domestic and international partners.


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