HCM CITY — The HCM City Department of Industry and Trade and the United States Agency for International Development organised a conference to discuss ways to help import-export enterprises in HCM City overcome challenges and carry on trade amid the COVID-19 pandemic on January 18.
According to the department, the impact of the outbreak meant exports by the city’s enterprises last year were just 1 per cent up from 2020 at US$44.9 billion.
COVID control by the City has been efficient but production and exports are unlikely to recover quickly, with issues related to workers, drivers, warehousing, shipping rates, shortages of containers, loading equipment and ships putting supply chains under severe pressure.
Ann Marie Yastishock, director of USAID Việt Nam, who said the US is one of the largest markets for HCM City’s exports, added: “Through the conference, we hope to gather more suggestions from the business community and relevant agencies. From there, it will be solutions to promote import and export activities, reduce time and costs for businesses and overcome difficulties in the context of the COVID – 19 epidemic.”
Senior city trade and customs officials listened to industry groups such as the Food and Foodstuff Association, Handicraft and Wood Industry Association and Logistics Association and enterprises speak about difficulties and obstacles they face and ways to alleviate them.
HCM City targets annual export growth of 9.5 per cent until 2025 to reach $70 billion and 9 per cent in the next five years to reach $108 billion.
To meet the target, it has to smooth hurdles like customs procedures and specialised inspections, which businesses still dub cumbersome despite great improvement. — VNS