|Rubber industry needs better grip on competitiveness in int’l market|
|Vietnam – fourth biggest rubber supplier of RoK|
Vietnam mainly produces and exports plastic products with low added value. Source: Internet
On the morning of April 19, Ho Chi Minh City Department of Industry and Trade cooperated with Ho Chi Minh City University of Technology – Vietnam National University to organize a seminar “Orientation for the development of the rubber and plastic industry in Ho Chi Minh City in the period to 2030, with a vision to 2050”.
Mr. Tran Anh Hao, Head of Industrial Management Department, Ho Chi Minh City Department of Industry and Trade, said that the rubber-plastic industry is one of the four key industries encouraged by HCMC to develop.
The industry has made important contributions to the city’s industry, accounting for about 11.5% of production value, contributing 11.4% of added value of the whole industry. In general, enterprises in the industry have now produced all kinds of consumer and technical products to meet domestic demand.
Currently, the trend of deep integration into the world economy is demanding that the plastic and rubber industry must meet international standards that Vietnam is committed to. The development trend of the plastic-rubber industry has many changes and increasing competitiveness in the production of products in general and supporting industry products in particular. In particular, improving the ability to meet and supply supporting industrial products for high-tech enterprises is a goal to aim for besides improving the quality of traditional rubber plastic products.
Facing those requirements, Mr. Hao said that the rubber-plastic industry needs to re-evaluate the current status and potentials, determine the goals, tasks, and development orientations of the industry, thereby serving as a basis for identifying key products and advanced production technology, in line with global trends.
Assoc. Prof-Dr. Huynh Dai Phu, Dean of the Faculty of Materials Technology – University of Science and Technology, assessed that the plastic industry in Ho Chi Minh City has been mainly processing and manufacturing. In particular, despite being the top 5 producers of natural rubber in the world, Vietnam still has to import a lot of this material for production due to the peculiarities of standards. Therefore, in recent years, added value has improved, but is still at a low level. The autonomy of materials in the plastic industry is an urgent need to create opportunities for the city’s plastic industry to develop in the future.
Currently, Vietnam can only produce a few materials such as PP, PET, PVC, PS, EPS, and DOP. Meanwhile, common plastic materials have tens of thousands of different types. The cause of the lack of autonomy in raw materials, according to Assoc. Prof-Dr. Huynh Dai Phu, because the refining, petrochemical and chemical industry in Vietnam is still too young, this problem cannot be solved in a short time.
The lack of domestically produced raw materials has caused product prices to increase, making it difficult for businesses to compete in the market. In addition, the dependence on raw materials from abroad also makes the rubber-plastic industry of Vietnam affected by price fluctuations and policies of the countries supplying raw materials.
To clarify more on this issue, Mr. Nguyen Quoc Anh, Chairman of the Ho Chi Minh City Plastic Rubber Association, added that Vietnam has a great advantage in natural rubber, but for technical rubber, it depends largely on imported raw materials. Therefore, it is necessary to focus on developing technical rubber.
Experts assess that the export potential of rubber and plastic products to the world is still very large. Currently, Vietnamese plastic products only account for a very small market share compared to other countries in the same product category.
Currently, Vietnam only exports mainly consumer goods, products for kitchen, hygiene, etc. These are products with very low added value. High value-added products are produced and exported very little compared to other countries in the world.
At the seminar, businesses also expressed interest in the trend of “greening” in the rubber and plastic industry. Currently, foreign customers are asking for the ratio of recycled and biodegradable materials in products. Therefore, Ho Chi Minh City needs to promote the development of recycled and biodegradable plastic products. Universities and scientists need to promote research to provide technical support to businesses.