VIETNAM: Plastic exports continue to rise

The country earned more than $1 billion from plastic exports in the first half of the year, up 9.3 per cent from the same period last year.

Japan was the largest importer, accounting for more than 22 per cent of the country's total plastic exports, followed by the US, Cambodia and the EU.

The association forecasts that plastic exports to Japan, the US, China, Thailand and Malaysia will continue to rise.

Experts agreed that the domestic plastic industry would develop well, as locally made products have improved in quality.

Increased global demand has also provided opportunities to expand markets.

However, despite higher demand, the plastic industry in the country still lacks sufficient raw materials, high input costs and poor production technology.

Huynh Thi My, VPA general secretary, said the plastic industry needed 2.2 million tonnes of raw materials each year, but the local market only supplied 450,000 tonnes.

In the first half of the year, the country spent $2.7 billion on imported raw materials to produce plastic, a year-on-year rise of 19.2 per cent in volume and 20.3 per cent in value.

Qualified human resources is another problem facing the industry, according to the VPA.

The plastic industry, which targets export revenue of $7 billion by 2020, plans to produce more high-quality and environmentally friendly products with a diverse range of models.

In addition, it also plans to reduce production of packaging and household plastic products and increase production of technical plastics and plastic products for construction.

To achieve the targets, the industry will focus more on developing raw material sources and will invest in new equipment and technology.

Plastic exports topped $1.98 billion last year, up 42.2 per cent over 2011.

Source: Daily "Vietnam News", Hanoi; 1 Aug 2013
(Syed Rashid Ali, Karachi, Pakistan)