The recent novel cornomavius (nCoV) epidemic has caused a strong impact on the economies of many countries throughout the region, most notably disrupting the import-export activities that take place between Vietnam and China, according to the Ministry of Industry and Trade (MoIT).
Huu Nghi border gate
Deputy Minister of Industry and Trade Tran Quoc Khanh stated that the restriction of travel, along with the isolation and suspension of important export materials, have negatively affected many economic sectors such as transportation, tourism, stock market, and logistics.
Khanh added that border trade has been greatly affected due to import and export turnover through border gates between the two countries standing at approximately US$7 billion annually.
In a bid to negate the impact of the recent nCoV epidemic, the MoIT has issued warnings and devised urgent solutions aimed at supporting the domestic market and agricultural products.
This move has seen the MoIT send a document to the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, provinces, and export businesses in order to provide updates on the current situation.
In addition, the ministry has also requested that overseas trade offices move to organise activities aimed at seeking new customers in order to find new markets for the export of agro-fisheries products, especially fruits.
Meanwhile logistics enterprises have also been requested to attempt to preserve agro-fisheries products during the increased waiting period before they are exported.
Vietnam's trade office branches in Guangdong, Guangxi, and Yunnan have all been active in working in co-operation with border provinces to discuss when border markets can be reopened, according to Deputy Minister Khanh.
Along with the launch of the campaign "Vietnamese people prefer to use Vietnamese goods", the MoIT has also underlined the necessity of seeking fresh export markets so the country is not so reliant on exporting to the northern neighbour.
Tran Thanh Hai, Deputy Director of the MoIT’s Import and Export Department, said the ministry has been directing trade offices abroad in a bid to urgently connect with import enterprises in new markets who might be interested in the nation’s farm produce.
The MoIT has also been working alongside local retail groups to boost the consumption of agricultural products, said Hai.
The export proportion of agricultural products to the Chinese market remains huge, accounting for 24 per cent of the nation’s total agricultural exports.
Amid unpredictable developments taking place due to the nCoV, Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Nguyen Xuan Cuong underlined the need to find other markets in the immediate and long term for sake of the country’s agricultural sector.
Minister Cuong stated that the MoIT will be sending a delegation to the United States, Japan, Brazil, and other markets this month to connect with firms abroad and strengthening trade promotion activities.
To ensure the production and business activities of local enterprises, and to deal with the shortage of raw materials needed in domestic production, many firms in the textile and footwear industry also plan to find alternative import sources to reduce their reliance on China.