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BUSINESS IN BRIEF 19/7   2009-07-19 - VietNamNet

Official: US willing to extend tariff preferences to VN
The United States is willing to grant its Generalised System of Preferences (GSP) to Vietnam, said the Deputy US Trade Representative, Demetrios J. Marantis.

Marantis made the statement while meeting with Vietnamese Deputy Prime Minister Hoang Trung Hai in Hanoi on July 17. US Ambassador to Vietnam Michael Michalak also attended the reception.

Hai applauded the recent fruitful cooperation between the US Department of Commerce and its Vietnamese partners, helping to further promote bilateral economic and trade relations.

The deputy PM proposed the two sides promptly address a number of pending issues regarding Vietnam’s pangasius and shrimp exports to the US market.

Vietnam has already opened its doors to US beef exports, therefore the US needs to lift its anti-dumping tariffs imposed on a number of Vietnamese products, Hai stressed.

Marantis said he was pleased to witness Vietnam’s economic development and believed in the leadership of the two governments, citing the more than-expected successes in economic and trade cooperation as evidence.

There remains much work to be done to further develop their good bilateral relationship, he said.

The trade official urged Vietnam to continue opening its doors wider to US beef products, and reforming labour laws to make them more harmonious with international practices and the US law.

Most EU members want to lift anti-dumping duties on Vietnam’s leather footwear 
In September, the European Commission (EC) is expected to submit a proposal to EU member countries concerning the extension or abolishment of anti-dumping duties on leather shoe products imported from Vietnam and China.

Most EU members, at least 15 countries, have voiced their support for the proposal.

An EU diplomat says that the UK, Austria, Belgium, the Czech Republic, the Republic of Cyprus, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Germany, Ireland, Latvia, Luxemburg, Malta, the Netherlands and Sweden want to remove these anti-dumping tax rates right away before Christmas which is a key profit making period for retailers.

Last October, the EC increased anti-dumping tax rates to 16.5 percent and 10 percent on Chinese and Vietnamese leather shoes, respectively.

Restoring purchasing power of Vietnamese catfish in European market 
The purchasing power of Vietnamese catfish in the European market has recovered, which is a good sign for seafood exports.

The Netherlands’ government has announced the quality of Vietnamese catfish is good and is free of impurities or harmful chemicals.

The Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development predicts the turnover of catfish exports this year will only reach US$1.2 billion.

In addition, the Vietnam Association of Seafood Export and Processing (VASEP) will strive to keep the output of exports to about 650,000 tonnes of frozen catfish, increasing the export turnover by 10-15 percent to a value of US$1.8 billion.

Vietnamese pepper draws attention from European and American markets 
Importers from Canada, the US and Europe are paying more attention to Vietnamese pepper.
Although the price of Vietnamese pepper has increased by US$50 per tonne, it still fluctuates between US$2,150-2,200 per tonne, US$100-500 per tonne lower than the price of pepper from Indonesia and India.

The total output of pepper industry this year is estimated to reach 95,000 tonnes, increasing by 4,000 tonnes against last year.

The Vietnam Pepper Association recommended that businesses control the amount of product sold to maintain the prices of pepper for export.

Encouraging Vietnamese businesses to invest in Laos 
Improving the integration of Vietnamese businesses in Laos was the main topic of a seminar held in Hanoi on July 17.

The seminar was co-hosted by the Vietnam-Laos-Cambodia Association for Economic Cooperation and Development and the Vietnam Association for Small- and Medium-sized Enterprises.

Lao Deputy Minister of Industry and Trade, Siaosavath Savensuksa, said the workshop is one of the joint activities undertaken to realise the two-way trade target of US$1 billion in 2010 and US$2 billion in 2015 set by the two governments.

He spoke highly of the efforts of Vietnamese companies in maintaining their production and business, saying the Lao business circle needs to learn from these experiences in a bid to develop together firmly.

His Vietnamese counterpart, Nguyen Thanh Bien, asserted that Vietnam will create favourable conditions for businesses to invest in Laos, such as offering them tax incentives and organising trade promotion activities in the neighbouring country.

The Vietnam-Laos-Cambodia Association for Economic Cooperation and Development reported that Vietnam has so far poured US$811 million into 157 projects, becoming one of the leading foreign investors in Laos.

Two-way trade value has grown rapidly, reaching US$422 million in 2008, up 35 percent from the previous year.

Within the framework of the forum, the most outstanding Vietnamese and Lao businesses and entrepreneurs received awards in recognition of their achievements in production and services, as well as contributing to socio-economic development in each country and the region.

AFD assists Buon Ma Thuot coffee trading centre 
The French Development Agency (AFD) has pledged 836,000 euros for a three-year project to provide technical assistance to the Buon Ma Thuot Coffee Trading Centre.

The project’s short-term target is to establish a unified market for coffee through transparent public auctions. The project will also provide related services such as information, auditing, processing, recycling, consignment, credit and transaction mandating.

A long-term target will be to turn the centre into Vietnam’s main farm produce trading floor.

So far, 31 traders have registered with the centre.

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