Export turnover 2010 hits record high on booming textile, footwear and seafood

Export turnover achieved a booming result in 2010, far exceeding the annual target percent set by the Parliament, thanks to surging sales of textile, footwear and seafood in foreign markets around the world.

Textile export revenue in 2010 reached US$11.5 billion, making the biggest proportion of Vietnam’s export turnover (Photo:Minh Tri)

Vietnam’s export turnover last year hit a record of US$71.6 billion. Of the amount, textile turnover of $11.5 billion makes the biggest proportion, which is $10.5 billion higher than the target.

Following are footwear and seafood increasing 26 percent and 16.5 percent to $5 billion and $4.9 billion respectively.

Especially, shrimp export turnover last year reached a record high of $1.8 billion, which is $400 million higher than the annual target.

Statistics show sales at key markets including the US, Japan and Korea were on a rise. There were also sharp increases in exports to new markets in the Middle East and South America, with Saudi Arabia up 28 percent and Mexico, 20 percent.

Vietnam exported around $4.2 billion worth of seafood to 35 markets in 2009. Japan and the US were the main buyers, accounting for 18 percent and 16.7 percent of total exports respectively.

However, local seafood processors have to be very careful to ensure there are no toxic residues in their shipments, or the nation will face bans imposed by governments in export markets, Vietnam Association of Seafood Exporters and Producers has warned.

The warning of the industry group, known as VASEP, follows a decision taken by a Japanese watchdog last November to increase inspection of items from 30 percent to 100 percent on shrimp imported from Vietnam. It found that seafood products imported from Vietnam contained trifuralin residues that exceeded the allowed limit of 1 microgram per kilogram.

Trifuralin, a commonly used pre-sowing herbicide used to control grasses and broad-leaf weeds, is said to be a harmful substance that can cause cancer.

Stronger dollar also boosted the export turnover of some natural resources and agricultural products, including coal, crude oil, rubber, cashew nut, rice, pepper and tea leafs.

New potential markets
“There are many potential markets local exporters should quickly enter, including Myanmar, Africa and Middle East countries. Export turnover into African markets is equal to more than $2 billion only, making 3 percent out of the country’s total amount,” said Tu Minh Thien, director of the Investment and Trade Promotion Center.

Analysts said orders from emerging markets help keep local exporters alive from the global recession, which saw a plunging amount of orders from big foreign importers.

The target of 10 percent by the Parliament this year will see local exporters have to make an export turnover of $78 billion.

Deputy Minister of Industry and Trade Nguyen Thanh Bien expected this year’s target was a tough challenge for local enterprises as banks’ interest rate remains high.

Huynh Quang Thanh, general director of the furniture maker Hiep Long in Binh Duong Province, said “most exporters have to borrow from banks as they need huge working capitals”.

“High interest rate will push up production expenses, weakening local firms’ competitiveness. It also put some exporters that need financial supports to import materials in difficult time.”

By Thanh Lam – Translated by Vu Minh

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