March 14, 2019
Vietnam. A market that increases its relevance for Argentine exports
With fewer obstacles and greater benefits for producers, the Government seeks to strengthen and expand sales to that country, with the challenge of adding innovative products with added value.

The progress in bilateral relations with Vietnam installed the Asian country as a strategic partner for Argentina. The exchange volumes reached and the possibilities envisioned by officials and businessmen who were part of the recent mission to Hanoi, consulted by LA NACION, arouse great expectations. "Today is the fifth destination of Argentine exports and the second largest trade surplus, Our exports increased by 600 percent in the last decade, from US $ 330 million in 2007 to US $ 2271 million in 2017," said the Secretary of Economic Relations Internationals of the Argentine Foreign Ministry, Horacio Reyser.

The fact that Vietnam is "a priority partner", as soon as it is recognized as "one of the most dynamic and open economies in the world", as Reyser remarked, is the foundation of the Government's optimism, from which Argentina's capacity stands out. to export food in "quantity and quality", and is committed to be able to advance in other areas, such as technology and tourism.

Also the secretary of Agribusiness of the Nation, Luis Miguel Etchevehere, maintained that "our country can be a strategic partner of Vietnam", since the agroindustrial sector "produces for 440 million (of consumers) with a potential of 600 million for 2025" and that the commercial opening promoted during the last tour led by President Mauricio Macri "enables export from producing provinces, such as Entre Ríos, Corrientes, Misiones and Buenos Aires".

Etchevehere recalled that, after the recent agreement, Argentina will begin to export to Vietnam "lemons and grapefruits, while in the case of oranges and tangerines it was defined to expedite the mechanisms to conclude negotiations that are in progress for their access", through the health services of both countries.

Less obstacles

In stating the "special interest" in increasing trade with Vietnam, the head of Agribusiness stressed that the businesses are "one more step to promote quality work and not put obstacles with taxes and charges. clear that Argentina grows, "he said.

"One of the cornerstones of work of the Secretariat is competitiveness and an example of this was the last announcement made by President Macri on the increase of the non-taxable minimum that will benefit more than fifty activities, mainly of regional economies, to improve your competitiveness".

At the same time, Etchevehere said: "We will continue working to improve logistics, transport and eliminate bureaucratic obstacles, so that all products that reach foreign markets do so in the best possible conditions."

Meanwhile, Reyser diagnosed that "Vietnam assigns enormous value to various Argentine cooperation initiatives that are ongoing, in recent years more than fifteen bilateral projects have been carried out, mainly in agroindustry," and he mentioned the control of foot-and-mouth disease, improvement of soybean production and crop resistance.

Technology and tourism

The secretary of the San Martín Palace pointed out that the mission to Vietnam "allowed us to consolidate and deepen the strategic partnership we already have, with a special focus on trade, but with a strong component in Argentine technical cooperation, which is highly valued by Hanoi", and observed that, "despite the high level of exports" to that country, there are still "many national products that are unknown in that market".

Reyser highlighted that Vietnam has "a huge complementarity with Argentina," the company said, "the contrastational production and the specialization in the cultivation of different agricultural products explain this mutually positive interaction."

In addition, he estimated the possibility "of obtaining Vietnamese investments in Argentina in the field of telecommunications.Vietnam is not yet a strong investor abroad, but this item is one that could be developed with a project of relevance. of the Viettel Group, which has led an important investment process in Peru ".

He also predicted that "tourism can grow exponentially in the short term, and we agree with the Vietnamese party to advance in the facilitation of procedures for the entry of citizens of that country into Argentina."

Value added

Etchevehere enumerated the opportunities foreseen to export "vegetable oils, frozen meat, pork (in negotiation) and agricultural machinery, but the most important thing - he remarked - is that our food and beverages are prepared with the highest quality standards", produced in a sustainable way.

Reyser added: "Although our exports to Vietnam are very concentrated in primary products and manufactures of agricultural origin, we see possibilities in the field of agricultural biotechnology, nuclear technology and agricultural machinery, among other sectors." Vietrade agency, Vietnamese equivalent of the Argentine Agency of Investments and International Trade (Aaici), expressed interest in the development of software in the province of Córdoba ".

In addition, he considered that "the creative industries sector will be enhanced by Expo 2023, of which Argentina will be the host country." Taking advantage of the central theme of the event, "Creative industries in digital convergence," we agreed on the participation of Vietnamese companies. .

On the basis of studies by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the official warned that a "real potential" for growth can be seen in sectors such as "preparations for children's food (which they import from the world for US $ 253 million), pharmaceutical and medicinal products (US $ 537 million); skins and hides (US $ 392 million), and fish (US $ 400 million), among many others, Vietnam buys from the world large volumes of these products, so the participation of our companies has a lot of room to develop. "

Advance SME

The head of the Aaici, Juan Pablo Tripodi, stressed that SME entrepreneurs who participated in the recent trade mission to Vietnam "fulfilled their goal of establishing a first contact to start the development of a new market, and some even signed agreements to Start exporting your products or working together. "

Tripodi assessed that "we have a great opportunity to increase exports in sectors such as biotechnology or pharma" to Vietnam, although he emphasized the importance of "cooperation between countries", beyond what can be enhanced in terms of trade, referring to Argentina's ability to provide its know-how and technology. "It's a very deep cooperation relationship that goes beyond buying or selling," he said.

The director of the Aaici judged "key" the mission headed by the head of the Argentine State and particularly the development of the Forum of companies Argentina-Vietnam, in which "fifty Argentine firms and about one hundred Vietnamese, with bilateral meetings, to start do business".

Concrete business

About the Forum, Secretary Etchevehere highlighted the presence of Argentine agro-export companies and the opportunity to generate business and deploy its full potential. "The large number of attendees from both sides and the favorable environment forecast auspicious future results and that this will result in the generation of employment in our country," he said.

For his part, Reyser highlighted "the attendance at the Forum of senior Vietnamese officials, which is not frequent, and that demonstrates the enormous interest that awakened" this mission. In addition, he rescued that among the businessmen "one could feel the will to materialize all the opportunities that were presented".

The Forum allowed Argentine businessmen "to develop specific businesses and opened up opportunities for the medium and short term, to mention as an example the flag products of our country, we know that businesses are closing that will increase exports of wine and meat," he explained. Reyser

To give continuity and guarantee the results "we are going to focus on the case-by-case follow-up of all the opportunities that were opened within the framework of the Forum so that they become concrete businesses", anticipated the Foreign Affairs Secretary.
Projections and plans

According to a study conducted by HSBC, called Navegador, "in 2030 we expect Vietnam to remain among the top five recipients of goods exported by Argentina, showing an average annual growth of 6 percent," said the firm, whose respective CEO , Hai Pham from Vietnam and Gabriel Martino from Argentina, met during the Forum held in Hanoi.

The HSBC survey indicates that "exports to the Asian continent will grow 195 percent between 2017 and 2030, with the surprise of demand from India and Vietnam, which will increase their purchases of Argentine products by 274 and 243 percent, respectively. that year the small eastern country, with purchases of US $ 8,906 million, will be the fourth most important market for the placement of Argentine products abroad ".

Another of the members of the delegation that traveled to Vietnam, Germán Iturriza, Export Manager of Grupo Los Grobo, distinguished the "important increase in the exchange of business information in missions, both in Vietnam and in Argentina, during 2018 and noted that" the framework of the export portfolio "of the Group," the main buyer interest lies in mung bean ", of which 10,000 tons were exported last year.

Iturriza considered that "2019 will be an atypical year and will not continue with the incremental trend due to the effect of the retentions" and commented that the firm is "closing the first operations" of export to Vietnam.

In turn, during the mission led by Macri, the Argentine Chamber of Commerce and Services (CAC), represented by its director Ángel Machado, signed a Cooperation Agreement with the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Vietnam, which is expected to create a Binational Argentina-Vietnam Business Committee, which will work to promote bilateral exchange.

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