Last update 3/16/2011 3:02:09 PM (GMT+7)

Japan’s earthquake and tsunami may worsen Vietnam’s exports

VietNamNet Bridge – The news about the earthquake and tsunami in Japan, the biggest export market for Vietnam, has made Vietnamese businessmen worried stiff. Seafood exporters fear that their export plan would not be fulfilled.

Bui Huy Son, Director of the Asia-Pacific Department under the Ministry of Industry and Trade, said “he is very anxious about the impacts of the tsunami and earthquake on Vietnamese enterprises in Japan.” Right after the natural calamity occurred in Japan, the department’s officials tried to contact representatives of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Japan. However, the departments have not got a reply. He said “it is still unclear whether to adjust the targeted exports to Japan because there is still not enough information about the impacts of the national calamity.”

“We have become impatient, but we still have to wait.” In such a context, the Vietnamese Embassy in Japan has too many things to do. “The department can only give support to businesses if it knows exactly about the losses enterprises have to suffer,” Son said.

The spokesperson of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs also said “there has no official information about the influences on Vietnamese enterprises in Japan. We will release information as soon as we update information.”

According to the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development MARD, in 2010, Vietnam’s export turnover of farm, forestry produce and seafood reached 19.5 billion, the highest figure ever. The Japanese market alone consumed 1.5 billion dollars in products, an increase of 18 percent, in comparison with 2009. Vietnam reaped 900 million dollars alone from exporting seafood to Japan in 2010.

Earlier this year, the Vietnam Association of Seafood Exporters and Producers (VASEP) predicted that the seafood total export turnover in 2011 may reach 5.3 billion dollars.

Nguyen Huu Dung, Deputy Chair of VASEP, said “the seafood export may be influenced, but he does not think the influences will be big, because the natural calamity occurred in the northeast, where there are less local residents than in the south.” Meanwhile, 200 Vietnamese seafood exporters are mainly export products to southern localities.

“The natural calamity just occurred one week ago. To date, no enterprise has reportedly canceled the export to Japan,” VnExpress quoted Dung on March 14.

Meanwhile, Tien phong quoted Lam Ngoc Khuan, General Director of Phuong Nam Company in Soc Trang province, as saying that “the natural calamity will certainly affect its business, because Japan consumes 30 percent of its exports.”

Meanwhile, garment companies are afraid that the tsunami and earthquake will affect the orders to be placed with them in 2011.

Pham Xuan Hong, General Director of Saigon 3 Garment Company said “he had a working session with some Japanese partners on March 14. The partners said there will changes in the demand for garment products in Japan in the time to come.”

“Saigon 3 mainly exports the products with medium prices. Therefore, the partners believe that we will not bare much influence, because in the immediate time, the demand for high price products will be lower,” Hong said.

Le Van Tri, Deputy Director of Casumina, which exports 600,000-700,000 tires to Japan every month, said “he has been trying to contact the Japanese partners to update information.”

Tri said, “Casumina is lucky enough that it is exporting products to many automobile factories all over the world, not only in Japan.” However, he admitted that Casumina is not likely to see high growth rate this year.

Tuyet Ngan