The ongoing outbreak of the new coronavirus (nCoV) in China is expected to cause negative impacts on its economic and trade relations with Vietnam in both short and long-terms, according to the Ministry of Industry and Trade (MoIT).
|Overview of the meeting. Source: MoIT.
The MoIT expected such impacts to spread on three aspects: (i) Vietnam’s exports of fisheries and agricultural products to China; (ii) cooperation and business activities between enterprises from the two countries; (iii) negotiation process towards opening markets and addressing difficulties in exporting Vietnamese products to China.
At a meeting on January 31, Minister of Industry and Trade Tran Tuan Anh requested government agencies to make a comprehensive assessment on impacts of nCoV to Vietnam’s trade activities, and work out solutions to enhance productivity, quality and added value of goods as well as national competitiveness.
“This is the right timing for Vietnam to restructure economic sectors,” Anh said, adding Vietnam should continue to expand export markets and focus on potential ones.
Anh also asked the Vietnam Directorate of Market Surveillance to instruct local producers to boost production of necessary medical equipment and products, ensuring stable prices of medical face masks in the market.
The MoIT previously warned Vietnamese enterprises, particularly agriculture-related businesses, should look for alternative markets beyond China or find other delivery methods, as some border gates between the two countries have been closed due to the spread of the new coronaviru.
China is currently one of major export markets for Vietnamese fisheries and agricultural products. The main farm export items to China include vegetables, cashew, coffee, rice, cassava products, rubber and aquatic products.
Bilateral trade between Vietnam and China reached nearly US$117 billion in 2019, up 9.6% year-on-year, according to the General Department of Vietnam Custom