Exporters Urged to Increase Focus on Germany

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Dec. 29 – There is still much potential in the German market for Vietnamese exporters to explore, said participants in a conference held in Ho Chi Minh City on Tuesday.

While Germany has grown into one of Vietnam’s major trading partners since 2007, the current export volume to the European country is still modest compared to the volume of export to China, Thailand and India, noted Do Thang Hai, director of the Trade Promotion Agency at the Ministry of Industry and Trade (MIT).

As Vietnam’s sixth largest importer, Germany offers a market with great potential for key Vietnamese exports such as footwear, garments, coffee, furniture, and seafood. The European Union’s (EU’s) largest economy has also shown interest in negotiating a free trade agreement with Vietnam, which will bring even more opportunities and benefits to the country’s exporters.

However, opportunities always come with challenges. Hai suggested that if those exporters want to boost shipments to Germany, they should first carefully study German consumer tastes, as the country has always been considered a very fastidious market with a high demand for quality.

Thomas Hundt, the chief representative of Germany Trade and Invest in Vietnam, pointed out that thorough understanding of EU/German standards and regulations is essential. Product quality, food safety, and social responsibility are the three top issues Vietnamese exporters need pay attention to. Companies should also remember to put out a long-term business plan in place and ensure adequate supplies for large orders.

Hundt added that it is important for Vietnamese export companies to do their due diligence before signing trade contracts with their German partners, as not all the German businesses are completely reliable.

Bilateral trade volume between Vietnam and Germany exceeded US$4.1 billion last year and already reached US$4 billion at the end of third quarter of this year, according to the Ministry of Industry and Trade. Vietnam’s export volume to Germany was recorded at US$2.4 billion last year, the sixth largest following the United States, Japan, China, Australia and Singapore.

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