The Ministry of Industry and Trade has issued a report, noting that the U.S.-China trade tensions have affected currency exchange rates, resulting in higher prices for goods processed in Vietnam compared with those seen in other countries, such as South Korea and China. Local textile and garment products for export have been negatively affected.
As an indication of Vietnam’s entering the ranks of countries with more industrialized economies, Vietnam’s export earnings from computers, electronic products and their spare parts are now ranked second in revenues, with traditional textiles and garments falling behind to third place.
Though the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) has been in force for a while, Vietnam has not made much use of the free trade agreement and imported US$6.7 billion worth of materials in the first half of the year.
Many experts had forecast that the United States-China trade war would help shift orders from China to Vietnam. In addition, Vietnam has participated in multiple new-generation free trade agreements, such as the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP), which are highly expected to help boost local exports.
This means for the first few years of EVFTA's implementation, most local garment and footwear products will not benefit from the EVFTA because MFN rates for those products are higher than GSP rates of 9 per cent for garment products and 3-4 per cent for footwear products at present.
Nguyễn Văn Tuấn, chairman of the Việt Nam Cotton and Spinning Association, told Thời Báo Kinh Doanh (Business Times) newspaper that while the yarn and apparel segments had grown strongly, others like dyeing were poorly developed, causing a bottleneck.
"More and more companies come to Vietnam ... In the foreseeable future, we do foresee a shortage of labour and even fierce competition for hiring staff there," Makalot chairman and CEO Frank Chou told Nikkei Asian Review, adding the company would now focus on Indonesia, which he expects to become its most significant production base in three to five years.
The improvement of the legal framework has been a boost to the market's performance. In the first six years of operation, there were only 169 companies on UPCoM with average daily trading value of VND15 billion (US$544,300).