The 0% tariff line will be one of the favorable conditions to promote the export of Vietnamese tuna to ASEAN.
According to Vietnam Association of Seafood Exporters and Producers (VASEP), ASEAN is currently one of Vietnam’s important tuna export markets. Tuna export turnover of Vietnam to the market is increasing gradually. In particular, when the ASEAN Trade in Goods Agreement (ATIGA) officially came into effect in 2010, most of the tariff lines were downed to 0% that was one of the favorable conditions to boost Vietnam’s tuna export to ASEAN. ATIGA was created with the aim of regulating all intra-ASEAN trade of goods and was built on the basis of consolidating the agreed commitments in CEPT per AFTA and related agreements and protocols.
The elimination of this tariff has created a great opportunity for Vietnamese tuna export enterprises to boost export to ASEAN. Specifically, before 2010, when the agreement was not effective, tuna export of Vietnam to ASEAN was only US$ 1.6 – 6 million per year. However, from 2010 onwards, the export value to this market has had a remarkable growth. In 2010, the tuna export value of Vietnam to ASEAN increased by 190%, from US$ 6 million in 2009 to nearly US$ 17.5 million in 2010. And so far, Vietnam’s tuna export value to ASEAN has increased to more than US$ 50 million.
In addition, in the long term, ATIGA has an indirect effect to increase the export turnover of Vietnam to non-ASEAN markets thanks to cheaper importing prices of raw materials from ASEAN countries for processing and re-exporting products. On the other hand, as a member of ATIGA, Vietnam has conditions to take new advantages in trade relations with big countries.
However, the elimination of tariffs also creates a big challenge for Vietnamese tuna processing and exporting enterprises. As among ASEAN countries, there are similarities in terms of natural conditions, fisheries resources, thus, Vietnam’s tuna export structure with other ASEAN countries is quite similar. Therefore, Vietnam has to compete with other regional rivals. With the current scale and development level of the tuna industry, Vietnam is hardly able to compete with regional countries such as Thailand, Philippines or Indonesia, who also enjoy similar benefits to Vietnam.
Therefore, joining ATIGA, Vietnam continues to accept fierce competition with other members of the association not only in the regional market, but also in the world market.