By Han Qiao Xinhua
Manila Sunday Times
HANOI: Vietnam, depending on the U.S. and European Union (EU) markets for more than one third of its exports, is beginning to tap more potential markets in the wake of the U.S. financial crisis and possible economic downturn in the United States and some European countries.
A farmer works on a paddy field in Vietnam’s northern Bac Ninh province, 40 km (25 miles) north of Hanoi October 11, 2008.REUTERS/Kham (VIETNAM)
The export turnover of Vietnam is expected to reach 65 billion U.S. dollars this year, a leap of 33.9 percent over 2007 and the biggest increase in the past decade, Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung told a National Assembly session this week.
The impressive figure, on one hand, was thanks to rising international prices, especially in the first seven months of this year, of Vietnam’s major export items, like crude oil, coal, rice and coffee, said experts here. On the other hand, it was an achievement of the Vietnamese government’s huge efforts to boost exports.
But experts also warned that some Vietnamese export items, like coffee and garments, were depending too much on the U.S. and EU market, and it is likely to be hurt badly if no changes on export strategy is made.
Figures from the General Statistics Office of Vietnam showed that in the first nine months this year, the United States remained the biggest export market for Vietnam. Export value to the U.S. market stood at 8.5 billion U.S. dollars, accounting for 17.4 percent of the total. It was followed by export to the Asean (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) with 17.2 percent, EU 16 percent, Australia 7.2 percent, and China 6.7 percent.
Exports to the United States and EU, however, have already showed….