‘Unfair’ green requirements hurt Vietnamese exporters

By Duc Minh   April 26, 2023 | 12:59 am PT
‘Unfair’ green requirements hurt Vietnamese exporters
Containers are seen at Cat Lai Terminal in Ho Chi Minh City. Photo by VnExpress/Quynh Tran
Vietnamese exporters are facing challenges in meeting developed countries' green energy and carbon-emissions standards.

Recently many developed countries have raised their standards in imports to ensure environmental sustainability, said Minister of Industry and Trade Nguyen Hong Dien at a meeting Tuesday.

"The new standards sound reasonable at first but they are actually part of an unfair race in which developed countries have gotten so far ahead," he said.

These requirements are part of many challenges that have dragged Vietnam’s exports down 11.8% year-on-year to over $79 billion in the first quarter.

Exports dropped by 19.4% to the United States, Vietnam’s biggest market. Other major markets Asia and Europe saw declines of 7.3% and 9.7% respectively.

Main categories such as electronics, computers, smartphones and garments all saw drops.

High inflation and weak demand were the reason for the drops, especially for non-essential goods, according to the trade ministry.

Rising input costs and trade remedy investigations also contributed to the decrease, Dien said.

"Without solutions to tackle these difficulties, Vietnam will fail to meet its exports target for this year and for upcoming years," he added.

Tran Nhu Tung, deputy chairman of Vietnam Textile and Apparel Association, said that more trade promotions were needed in countries of the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership and in the EU.

He also proposed that credit packages of zero-interest be given to companies to pay their employees amid difficulties. The package should cover up to six months of salary.

Nguyen Hoai Nam, deputy general secretary of Vietnam Association of Seafood Exporters and Producers, said that seafood exports fell 27.5% year-on-year in the first quarter.

Lower interest rates should be given for borrowing U.S. dollars. Other credit incentives are needed to boost the sector, he added.

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