Viet Nam wants to triple exports during 2010-20 with the aim of bringing the average level per capita to more than US$2,000 and balancing the trade books.
Phan Van Chinh, general director of the Ministry of Industry and Trade (MoIT)'s Import-Export Department, made the statement at a workshop held in Ha Noi yesterday to look at the impacts of international economic integration on Viet Nam's economy and import-export strategy for the 2011-20 period.
Chinh said the country would diversify its import and export markets and join production networks and value chains while focusing on developing high-value goods and brandnames.
He said the ministry would adopt a roadmap to to reduce ore exports and invest in technology to increase exports of processed products while making use of favourable markets and opportunities to raise export value.
Ore accounted for 11.2 per cent of exports in 2010, but under the strategy, that figure would fall to 4.4 per cent by 2020.
Agricultural, forestry and fishery exports would be restructured towards modern processing using advanced scientific applications.
Goods with low value but high growth potential will also be developed.
He said the import strategy would be adjusted while the production of materials, raw materials and accessories to serve domestic enterprises would be increased to meet the demand and reduce the need for imported goods, helping to reduce the trade deficit.
Deputy Minister Nguyen Thanh Bien said Viet Nam's integration into the global economy and accession to the World Trade Organisation (WTO) had exposed the country's economic shortcomings.
Bien said they would focus on developing export items which played to the country's strengths such as natural resources and cheap labour costs including seafood, garment and textiles and electronics.
"In the period of 2016-20, Viet Nam will focus on high value items to attract production investment from both inside and outside of the country," Bien said.
He added that the proportion of electronics, telecommunications and building materials exported would increase under the strategy.
Former minister of trade Truong Dinh Tuyen reviewed the impacts of joining the WTO, with average annual economic growth of 7 per cent from the 2006-10 period and a gradual shift from agro-forestry to industrial-construction.
Tuyen said exports had increased on average by 18.4 per cent from 2001-06 and by 15.8 per cent from 2008-10, due to global trade liberalisation and improved competitiveness.
However, he said trade policy was not cohesive with other macro policies while legislative formulation, review and amendments had not caught up with market development.