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Vietnamese enterprises ‘cautiously optimistic’ about trade war opportunities

VietNamNet Bridge - Great benefits for Vietnamese enterprises from the US-China trade war are possible, but enterprises have been warned they may face risks without thorough preparations.

VietNamNet Bridge - Great benefits for Vietnamese enterprises from the US-China trade war are possible, but enterprises have been warned they may face risks without thorough preparations.


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Great benefits for Vietnamese enterprises from the trade war are possible



Dien Quang Hiep, chair of the Binh Duong Woodwork Association and director of a woodwork company in Dong Nai province, said the trade war has had a beneficial impact on the company’s operation.

“The US remains the biggest export market for Vietnam. China is a big material supplier. Vietnam now can enjoy very favorable conditions,” he explained, adding that the revenue of the company would increase by 10 percent. 

China will never miss the vast US market. When Chinese goods bear higher tax, this only means that Chinese goods will be more expensive, while Chinese goods won’t be able to compete with products from other countries.

Nguyen Thi Thu Trang from the Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI) said the trade war would facilitate Vietnam’s goods to enter the US market if China’s goods meet tax barriers there. 

Great opportunities are offered to Vietnamese enterprises which make products using input materials from China as the materials are getting cheaper.

However, Trang believes that China will never miss the vast US market. When Chinese goods bear higher tax, this only means that Chinese goods will be more expensive, while Chinese goods won’t be able to compete with products from other countries.

“The trade war could be a good opportunity, but only to some extent,” Trang said.

The expert noted that Chinese exports to the US in 2017-2018 increased more rapidly than ever, even when the products began bearing tax.

A report from the Chinese customs agency released on November 8 showed that in October, Chinese exports to the US increased by 15.6 percent compared with the same period last year and 14.5 percent compared with the month before.

As for the steel industry, Vo Minh Nhut, CEO of NS BlueScope Vietnam, said the US imports $29 billion worth of steel products each year, but mostly from Canada and South Korea. 

Meanwhile, China mostly exports products to South Korea, Vietnam, the Philippines, India and Thailand.

According to Nhut, China, the biggest steel exporter, does not focus on the US market because the US has imposed anti-dumping and anti-countervailing duties since 2015.

About 100 trade lawsuits related to the steel industry have been filed over the last two years. High risks for Vietnam’s steel industry are anticipated for the time to come. 

Vietnam’s steel exports to the US may be questioned if they are from China.

Not only the US, but the EU is also conducting anti-dumping investigations on steel products entering the market.

Trang said the trade war will not only have an impact on China, but on other countries, which may include Vietnam.

Meanwhile, the weak point of the woodwork industry and Vietnamese enterprises in general is the lack of cooperation among companies.


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