Ample room remains for Việt Nam-Singapore trade growth

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Fukang Technology factory of Foxconn Singapore Pte Ltd with total registered capital of US$453 million is being built in Quang Châu industrial park in Bắc Giang Province. — VNA/VNS Photo

HÀ NỘI — Việt Nam is anticipating a great chance to further promote its trade with Singapore, which has yet to be on par with the potential of both nations, as President Nguyễn Xuân Phúc is scheduled to pay a State visit to the city-state from February 24-26.

Despite adverse impacts from the COVID-19 pandemic, bilateral trade hit US$8.3 billion in 2021, up 23.3 per cent from the previous year. In January 2022, the figure reached $783.9 million, an increase of 6.8 per cent year on year.

As of February this year, Singapore had 2,860 valid projects worth $66 billion, ranking second among 140 nations and territories worldwide pouring capital into Việt Nam. Notably, in 2021, Singapore took the lead among all foreign investors with combined registered investment of over $10.7 billion, accounting for 34.4 per cent of the total capital attracted by Việt Nam.

Nguyễn Thị Thu Thủy, deputy director of the Việt Nam Trade Promotion Agency (Vietrade)’s Export Support Centre, said Singapore is a relatively small market but a large free trade port, with almost no restrictions on imports. However, this market demands goods of very high quality, she noted.

According to the official, although the geographical distance between Singapore and Việt Nam is not far, not many Vietnamese agricultural products, food and consumer goods can penetrate this market.

Trần Thu Quỳnh, Vietnamese Trade Counsellor in Singapore, said there are 21 of the world’s top 25 logistics service providers based in Singapore, while the country’s seaport system is currently connected with 600 ports in 123 nations via 200 shipping routes.

Exporting goods to Singapore means Vietnamese businesses are not only able to serve local consumers and but also have a greater opportunity to approach international partners, buyers and customers present in this country, she said.

Given the complicated developments of COVID-19, Vietnamese businesses can penetrate the Singaporean market through e-commerce platforms, Thủy suggested.

On the other hand, Vietnamese and Singaporean businesses have been advised to promote their cooperation by taking advantage of free trade agreements (FTAs) that the two countries have joined such as the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) and the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP).

Besides, as the only two countries in the region having comprehensive agreements with the EU and the UK, Việt Nam and Singapore can supplement each other to jointly exploit and penetrate these markets. — VNS

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