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Exports to Japan increase by 23% to $7.7 billion   2011-01-05 - VNS

Vietnamese exports to Japan earned US$7.7 billion last year, a 23 per cent increase year on year, according to the Ministry of Industry and Trade (MoIT).

Key export items included textile and garments, equipment and components, seafood, electric cables and wooden goods.

Deputy head of MoIT's Multilateral Trade Policy Department Le Quang Lan urged Vietnamese firms to further take advantage of the Viet Nam-Japan Economic Partnership to effectively approach the potential market.

The deputy head called for closer co-operation between firms and Japanese importers, which could help companies better understand the market and the country's tax policies.

Firms need to improve their products' quality to comply with Japan's high hygiene standards and create innovative products that will be competitive at this market, said Lan.

It was not an easy task for Vietnamese enterprises to build trust with their Japanese counterparts and then establish a close partnership, said Nguyen Thi Bich Thuan from Cau Tre Export and Processing Joint Stock Company.

But if the firms were able to establish strong relationships, then they would have huge opportunities to enhance their presence in the market while seeking out other partnerships, she said.

Under the agreement, which became effective on October 1, 2009, Viet Nam's leather shoes, garments, seafood and farm goods enjoyed a tariff-free period. The agreement also offered Vietnamese companies advantages concerning export-import prices and incentives to boost export of promising goods such as electronic products and chemicals.

Head of the ministry's Asia-Pacific Market Department Vo Thanh Ha said that there was still a door for the firms to expedite trade ties due to the two countries' close political and economic ties. Vietnamese goods make up only 1 per cent of Japan's imports, while Chinese goods account for 20 per cent, Thai's make up 2.9 per cent and Malaysian goods have a 2.8 per cent market share.

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