Vietnam is the 21st largest export economy in the world. In 2016, Vietnam exported $207B and imported $196B, resulting in a positive trade balance of $11B. In 2016 the GDP of Vietnam was $205B and its GDP per capita was $6.3k.
As of year 2018, the top exports of Vietnam are Broadcasting Equipment ($34.1B), Integrated Circuits($14.9B), Telephones ($9.9B), Textile Footwear($7.94B) and Computers ($6.36B), using the 1992 revision of the HS (Harmonized System) classification. Its top imports are Integrated Circuits ($12.5B), Telephones ($9.7B), Refined Petroleum ($6.28B), Light Rubberized Knitted Fabric ($4.54B) and Aluminium Bars ($4.07B).
The top export destinations of Vietnam are the United States ($43.3B), China ($26.8B), Japan($16B), South Korea ($12.4B) and Germany($9.7B). The top import origins are China($60B), South Korea ($32.6B), Japan ($12.4B), Singapore ($11.3B) and Other Asia ($9.5B).
Vietnam borders China, Cambodia and Laos by land and Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines and Thailand by sea.
Nowadays few people know this is a country, which suffered terribly from the war and was often reminded as wild and damaged. Despite the painful history, Vietnam export industry has strongly impacted the world and brought opportunities to the country, especially for the new generations.
For over 40 years, the country had swallowed its pain and developed quickly in different sectors, mainly agriculture. Today, this South-east Asian country has stronger and stable state of agriculture than ever before.
Therefore, Vietnam offers enormous export opportunities for local entrepreneurs, who desire to start exporting business. And not only for local people, export-import opportunities in Vietnam are available also for foreigners.
Vietnam is proud of being an excellent country for export and import. Vietnam also established a new record of import and export in the year 2017, when the total flow of exports exceeded 400 billion dollars. What an impressive number!
This article will give you some ideas of the most promising export-import opportunities in Vietnam.
In 1857, coffee trees were planted by Catholics in Vietnam. They were first planted in some churches in Ha Nam and Quang Binh in North Central. Since then, the area of coffee has been expanding promptly.
Since 1994, Vietnamese coffee trees, especially latte coffee, have grown swiftly and achieved terrific results in many aspects. It can be said that in the agricultural sector coffee is just behind rice and is a key commodity of the nation.
Drinking coffee in the morning is the daily habit/routine of local people, just like sipping a cup of tea in China. Vietnam is the second largest coffee exporter in the world, behind Brazil.
In a nutshell, Vietnamese coffee is such a great opportunity as geographical and climatical advantages support growing and exporting the coffee
The Central Highlands provinces boast of different famous coffee regions such as Cau Dat, Nui Min, Tram Hanh (Lam Dong) and especially Buon Ma Thuot (Daklak) – where we have the largest Robusta coffee region.
At elevations above 1,500 m above sea level, there are many sloping hills with cool climate. These lands in Lam Dong are ideal places for Arabica coffee beans to grow and prosper. Especially, Cau Dat’s robusta is considered as the “Queen” of coffee by its special aroma.
“FAS maintains an estimate of total coffee production in Vietnam in 2016/17, including green coffee beans, roasted and ground coffee, reaching 27.55 million bags. Total exports for 2017/18 were adjusted from 26.65 million bags to 28.15 million bags, mainly due to increasing domestic production.” (Source: Vietnam Trade Promotion Agency)
As we know, there are over 70 different types of coffee in the world, but two main groups of coffee are Robusta and Arabica, from which Vietnam has the advantage of producing large Robusta coffee beans in the world. Hence, Vietnam has an abundant source of raw materials for instant coffee processing that the world will need.
Interestingly, Vietnam’s climate is separated into two distinct areas. The tropical climate of the South is ideally suitable for Robusta coffee, while that of the North is cold and drizzly for Arabica’s.
Nevertheless, Vietnam possesses red basalt soil, which is extremely suitable for coffee trees to grow. This gives Vietnamese coffee its own special flavor that you cannot find elsewhere.
In the future, Vietnamese coffee will continue to be popular and easily adopted across the globe. Everyone who has tasted coffee in Vietnam knows that this coffee has very different and smooth taste compared to Arabian and Brazilian coffee.
However (opportunity alert!!), Vietnamese coffee is still not very common in Western countries. It presents a huge export opportunity and the key to success for entrepreneurs is to answer these 2 questions:
For foreigners, this can mean exporting opportunity. It is possible to export different kinds of coffee to Vietnam, so local people have more alternatives for the local Vietnamese coffee.
Previously, the Vietnamese coffee market has only a few dominants brand names such as Trung Nguyen, Vinacafe,… Now there is an intense competition of domestic and foreign enterprises. The coffee market has warmed up when the coffee gian – Starbucks jumped into the market, followed closely by South Korea’s Coffee Bene and more …
The fight in the chain business is heating up quickly to gain the market share. After 2 years, Starbucks had announced the sale of its own Vietnamese coffee, DaLat Blend, at more than 21,500 stores in 56 countries. Well-done!
As the graph shows, Vietnam is the biggest supplier of textile and apparels for the US. There is no doubt that this presents great export – import opportunities for both Vietnamese exporters and foreign importers.
When life quality improves, people are aware of being fashionable and actively looking for matching items. Not only in Vietnam, the world is looking for new ideas in fashion. This all will positively impact the increasing demand for the garment and apparels sector in general.
Textile has been one of the most important contributors to the export-oriented economy of Vietnam. According to statistics by the General Department of Customs, in the first 11 months of 2017, Vietnam’s textile and garment exports reached USD 28.84 billion, an increase of 11% over the same period in 2016.
Because costs for manufacturing in Vietnam are low compared to China (for example), this allows Vietnam to gain a large share of the textile and apparels markets. This means also higher profit margin for exporters, which indicates a great export business opportunity in Vietnam.
With the current growth rate, the Vietnam Textile and Garment Association expects the textile and garment export turnover in 2018 to reach $ 35 billion, surpassing $ 1 billion of the current plan, and this will be the highest growth rate in five years.
Textile is and will remain one of the best Vietnam export products!
Textile fiber exports totaled 1.23 million tonnes, or US $ 3.27 billion, up 15.7% in volume and 22.9% in value year on year, completing 96% whole year plan.
Exports of garment and textile materials reached USD 1.57 billion, up 14.8% over the same period, fulfilling 100.3% of the plan.
Exports of cord fabrics, engineer fabrics were estimated at $ 421.3 million, up 9.2%, fulfilling 97% of the year plan.
Export turnover has increased in many key commodities and key export markets. In particular, the United States remains the largest consumer market, reaching over $ 6.3 billion, corresponding to the increase of nearly 10% and accounted for more than 46% of total turnover.
In addition, Vietnamese textiles and garments make an important milestone, when exporting garments to the Chinese market for the first time, worth about $ 1 billion.
This shows that Vietnamese companies have tried to find new markets in the past years, and produce new products to exploit traditional market opportunities in ASEAN, Eastern Europe, EU, Japan, and Korea.
The first priority is the equipment of the garment industry has been renovated and modernized to 90%. The products have better quality, and totally subjugate difficult markets like USA, EU, Japan…
Secondly, textile and garment enterprises have successfully built close relationships with importers and big consumer groups in the world. Vietnamese businesses are also appreciated by customers as having advantages in terms of labor cost, skills, and good workmanship.
Many of the world’s leading apparel companies such as Express, Hucke, Itochu, Kmart, Li & Fung, Sara Lee, Sumimoto, Jupita, Lee Cooper, Mast Industries, Nichimen, Nissho Iwai, Otto, Seidensticker, JC Penney, Tommy Hilfiger, Victoria’s Secret, Nike, Adidas and Walmart have already come to sourcing from Vietnam. No surprise!
In addition, Vietnam is highly regarded for its political stability and social security, which is attractive to foreign traders and investors.
Vietnam actively participates in economic integration region and the world also expanded market access for exports in general and textiles export in particular.
Finally, Vietnam’s integration into the regional economy and the world economy also facilitates better market access for textiles. Vietnam is now a member of the WTO and has also signed and implemented many important free trade agreements such as the Vietnam – Japan Trade Partnership Agreement, ACFTA, AKFTA, ASEAN-Australia-New Zealand, etc. (Russia and Europe have also joined).
There tend to be a lot of middlemen in garment and apparels trade, and that’s why we suggest making sure the full supply chain for those products. If you know well, who exactly purchase from where and what volumes and prices, then it is much easier to focus your marketing and get buyers more easily.
Phone and electronic components sector in Vietnam offers both: export-import opportunities and investment opportunities.
November 6 th , 2014, Laird Global Technology Company (UK) officially inaugurated its first factory in Vietnam. This factory is located in Bac Ninh, the capital of Vietnam electric factories with a series of electronic components factories and two large scale mobile phone factories: Samsung and Nokia.
In fact, Laird is not the only name in Vietnam because of the appeal of large scale cellphone manufacturing plants in Vietnam, with Samsung being the largest (with $ 2.5 billion in North Ninh and 2 billion in Thai Nguyen).
Vietnam’s electronic components are quite diverse, ranging from basic components to complex, high value components with the participation of FDI and joint ventures domestic industry.
FDI enterprises mainly invest in assembling electronic components and assemblies in large quantities such as circuit boards, electronic boards, electronic chips, air conditioners, refrigerators, mobile phone, a small part of these components are provided to domestic enterprises, the rest parts are exported.
In 2017, Viet Nam exported $ 45.27 billion worth of phones and accessories, up 31.9% from 2016. Mobile phone exports reached 184.4 million units to Russia, Germany, Austria, Indonesia, USA, Arab …
From 2015 to now, Vietnam is the 12th largest electronic exporter in the world and the third largest in ASEAN. Export turnover of the electronics industry also achieved impressive results: Vietnam is expected to become one of the major electronics exporters of the world in 2018.
However, 95% of export turnover belongs to foreign-invested enterprises.
Since Vietnam is in its early stages of development, Vietnam’s electronics market is full of the passive characteristics of a technology-transferable manufacturing industry.
At present, domestic manufacturers have not been able to innovate in technology, but only in processing products, factories producing electronic equipment and modern technology with the leading technology in Vietnam are all foreign manufacturers.
On the speed of development of the market, in recent years, Vietnam has joined international economic integration, culminating in joining the World Trade Organization – WTO, exchanging goods with other countries.
In the world, electronic products are no exception, so people have the opportunity to contact and consume these items more and more.
With the decreasing prices of electronic goods, prices of imported goods in the country are not much higher than those of foreign countries due to the increasing competition and the people’s living conditions, which has led to a strong increase in consumption.
Exporters and importers can trade smartphone cases, batteries, screens, and accessories. There are plenty of export and import opportunities in Vietnam electronic sectors.
However, dealing with electronics and batteries, you as an exporter, need to be aware of the possible risk those items can cause.
Vietnam has been a supplier of rice from the ancient times. Rice was and remains a great export import opportunity for local entrepreneurs and also foreign importers.
It is so because Vietnam has a lot of advantages in growing and developing agricultural crops, particularly rice. Vietnam is a country with a tropical monsoon climate and fertile soil- very suitable for rice.
Rice is also the main foods in Vietnamese and Asian meals.
Rice is the regular food of more than half of the world’s people and provides more than 20% of the total daily energy of humanity. For more than 2 billion people in Asia, rice provides 60 to 70% of calories.
Rice is becoming more and more popular in the Americas, the Middle East and especially Africa, as rice is considered healthy and nutritious food suitable for diversification of daily meals.
Annual rice consumption per capita of Asia from 60 to 200 kg, Vietnam nearly 170 kg. Rice and other products are also used to prepare foods such as bread, rice paper, vermicelli, flour, fast food, oil, or beverages.
Rice is a carbohydrate mixed with starch (80% ), a major source of energy, protein (7.5%), water (12%), vitamins and minerals (0.5%) needed for the body.
Vietnam Rice export in 6/2018 is estimated at 604 thousand tons with 317 million USD, rice export in the first 6 months of 2018 is estimated at 3.6 million tons and 1.8 billion USD, up 24.6% in volume and 42 , 4% in value over the same period in 2017. Average export price in the first five months reached $ 505 / ton, up 13.4% over the same period in 2017.
In particular, China remains the largest importer, accounting for 29.1% of the market share in the first three months of 2018; Indonesia is the export market with a growth rate of 378 times in the first quarter over the same period; Malaysia 3.3 times
As residents of long native origin, the Vietnamese always pioneered the conquest of nature, develop new land to develop rice farming.
Over time, large granaries in Vietnam in the Red River Delta in the north, the plains in the North Central Coast and the Mekong Delta in the South have a high proportion of rice field cultivation.
The wet rice cultivation in Vietnam contributes to the livelihood of the next generation, but rice farming only really moves, when more than 20 years ago the State of Vietnam issued land allocation policies and granted autonomy to the farmer.
The practicality of this policy has provided a breakthrough for the rice industry.
With appropriate development policies, in just two decades, from a food shortage, Vietnam has become one of the world’s leading exporters of rice. In 2012, Vietnam exported over 7 million tons of rice, is the second country in the world in rice exports.
In recent years, the implementation of the new rural construction program incorporating the planning criteria, the construction of large fields, the application of science and technology in rice production has been making a new move, contributing to increased productivity and export value of rice.
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