VCN – Assoc. Prof. Dr. Pham Tat Thang, Senior Researcher of the Institute for Strategy and Policy Studies (Ministry of Industry and Trade), said that it is necessary to focus on measures and how to organize and implement the Strategy so that it can achieve the highest efficiency.
|Assoc. Prof. Dr. Pham Tat Thang|
Looking back at the Commodity Import-Export Strategy for the 2011-2020 period, besides the achievements, in your opinion, what are the most notable limitations and shortcomings?
I think the most remarkable point is that the role of domestic enterprises in export has improved but is not as expected. The link between domestic enterprises and FDI enterprises has not been clearly shown. Notably, Vietnam’s policy is to consider small and medium enterprises and private enterprises as the driving force for economic development. Meanwhile, looking at the import-export structure, it can be seen that this component’s participation is not really a driving force for exports.
The draft Commodity Import-Export Strategy for the 2021-2030 period sets out the goal of balancing the trade balance in the 2021-2025 period, moving towards maintaining a sustainable trade surplus in the 2026-2030 period; towards a trade balance with healthy and reasonable partners, thereby ensuring sustainable growth in the long term. How do you rate these goals?
The indicator of the balance of trade is very important, affecting many aspects of life.
In the 2011-2020 period, Vietnam has changed from a trade deficit to a trade surplus, there are periods when the trade surplus this year is higher than the previous year.
However, Vietnam’s trade surplus is unsustainable, relying heavily on the “hot and cold” and maintaining the supply chain of the world market.
In the Draft Commodity Import-Export Strategy for the 2021-2030 period, setting a goal of a sustainable trade balance is very necessary. If the effects of FTAs can be brought into play, and many technologies can be imported from Japan and the EU, especially, the role of the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) will be increasingly affirmed; at the same time, implementing the policy of receiving foreign investment selectively, exporting not based on quantity but focusing on exporting high-value goods to ensure the maintenance of the trade balance.
In terms of exports, the Draft Import-Export Strategy for the next 10 years clearly states that the proportion of exported processed and manufactured industrial goods will increase from 85.1% in 2020 to about 90-92% of the total export turnover by 2030; reduce the proportion of agricultural, forestry and fishery products in the structure of export goods to 3-5% of total export turnover by 2030.
Given the specific conditions of Vietnam, such targets have been set forth. Is it reasonable and feasible?
In fact, it is easy to see that the value of a smartphone or a computer will be quite a lot of pounds of pangasius, pounds of rice, so the goals set out above are necessary. For agricultural, forestry and fishery products, the reduction of the proportion in the structure of exports in the context that Vietnam is a strong exporter of agricultural, forestry and fishery products is also nothing to worry about. That’s because, if agricultural products and food are processed deeply, they will increase their value.
Currently, Vietnam’s agricultural products are mainly exported raw, which can be converted into deep processing to promote exports to markets such as the US and EU.
If the Import-Export Strategy 2021-2030 is issued with the above basic goals, what are the key solutions to realize the goals and get the best results?
In my opinion, the first is that the State needs to have policies and an environment to grow exports in a sustainable way, towards a balance of trade. In this stage, the important point is to remove the procedures that cause difficulties for enterprises and support their development.
Enterprises also need to focus on investing in high technology and linking to create a value chain, in which enterprises must play the role of a “conductor” in import and export. Another important factor is the need to receive FDI projects selectively in order to substantially improve competitiveness and production of goods.
In particular, the strategies so far often state very impressive goals, but the methods and organization are weak. Therefore, the Commodity Import-Export Strategy for the 2021-2030 period should focus on measures and methods of organization and implementation to achieve the highest efficiency.
By Dung Quang/ Huu Tuc