Vietnam Exporter Guide 2009

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This report is a practical guide for U.S. food exporters in the Vietnamese market. It provides updates on Vietnam’s policies and regulations relevant to importing food and agricultural products, particularly consumer-oriented agricultural products. Vietnam has experienced tremendous growth in its food importing sector due to its sizable and young consumer base, its strong economy growth, improving consumer disposable income, and rapid expansion of Vietnamese retail, food service, and food processing sector. The prospects for continued growth in the food import market look promising.

Vietnam is nonetheless both an opportunity and a challenge for exporters. At times, the maze of seemingly conflicting regulations may seem a formidable barrier to trade, but the country is evolving and becoming more business-friendly. The improved economic environment owes much to Vietnam’s integration into the global trade community. Vietnam is a member of ASEAN and became the 150th member of WTO in January 2007, and thus pledged to not just lower import tariffs and eliminate quotas but also to increase market access for goods and services, strengthen IPR protection, help enhance legislative and regulatory transparency as well as commercial dispute settlement and trade facilitation. To its credit, Vietnam has made large strides in lowering tariffs, particularly on key food commodities, cutting tariffs three times since accession, and in some cases, even beyond the bound rate in an effort to combat high inflation.

Bui Thi Huong
Truong Minh Dao