Saturday,  Jul 21, 2018,10:32 (GMT+7) 0 0
HCMC government urged to closely scrutinize China-U.S. trade war
By Van Nam
Wednesday,  Jul 11, 2018,20:39 (GMT+7)

HCMC government urged to closely scrutinize China-U.S. trade war

By Van Nam

A vessel docks at Tan Cang-Cai Mep Port in Ba Ria-Vung Tau Province. Enterprises in HCMC and Vietnam should look into both the opportunities and challenges of the trade war between the United States and China - PHOTO: ANH QUAN

HCMC – Vuong Duc Hoang Quan, a member of the HCMC People’s Council, has urged the HCMC government to closely scrutinize the trade war between the U.S. and China so as to have timely measures to cope with challenges and make the most of opportunities.

At the ongoing ninth meeting of the council, Quan urged local enterprises and competent agencies to promptly assess both the positive and negative effects of the trade war to make good use of opportunities and minimize the negative effects on domestic production and trade activities with the two largest economies of the world.

Quan noted that the city should look into the impacts of the trade war and prepare solutions to develop the city’s economy in the second half of the year and in the next two years, hinting at possible adjustments to the plan for the city’s socioeconomic development that was prepared for the Council’s session on July 6 when the trade war between China and the United States started.

He stressed that Vietnam in general and HCMC in particular would benefit from the trade war by partially filling the market vacuum in the U.S., adding that local exporters, especially those in the textile-garment and footwear sectors, would have more opportunities to ship their products stateside.

The United States is an attractive market for Vietnamese exports, including farm produce. The demand for agricultural products among U.S. consumers is likely to increase, and Vietnamese exporters should grab the opportunity.

The trade war, however, has also created numerous obstacles to exporting Vietnamese commodities to China. For example, a 30% increase in the export revenue from the Chinese market in the first half of the year is a positive result, but maintaining this trend is also a major challenge as the Chinese market may face a commodity glut due to the trade war.

Quan suggested the relevant agencies, especially taxation and market management agencies and the economic police force, look into the situation and work out effective solutions to respond to possible problems.

Experts, on the other hand, forecast the US-China trade war would bring more challenges than opportunities for Vietnam.

Due to the trade war, Chinese goods will most likely be channeled into other markets nearby, and Vietnam may suffer from such an influx. In addition, Chinese products subject to high import duties in the United States can be sent to Vietnam before being exported stateside.

Moreover, the trade war may pose a high risk for a currency war, affecting foreign exchange rates.

Waste treatment remains major concern

The HCMC government annually spends up to nearly VND4 trillion (US$173.6 million) collecting, transporting, classifying and treating garbage, and dredging wastewater drainage systems. However, local residents have voiced their complaints over the environmental pollution caused by garbage.

At the meeting of the HCMC People’s Council today, July 11, Nguyen Toan Thang, director of the municipal Department of Natural Resources and Environment, said the city daily discharges some 9,000 tons of garbage. Meanwhile, the city cannot completely collect waste thrown into the environment, thus obstructing sewers and causing odors.

Phan Thi Thang, director of the HCMC Department of Finance, asserted the city annually allocates some VND2.85 trillion for waste collection, classification and treatment, and VND1.13 trillion for wastewater drainage system maintenance and improvement.

Nguyen Thi Quyet Tam, chairwoman of the HCMC People’s Council, said the large investment in both waste treatment and wastewater drainage systems in the city is contributed by local people. However, the job in these two areas remains ineffective.

Nguyen Toan Thang proposed asking investors of waste treatment complexes to apply waste-to-energy technology instead of burying garbage to avoid worsening environmental pollution.

In the next five to ten years, HCMC will have 10 waste treatment plants which convert waste into electricity. The city government has called for investments in waste treatment projects using modern technologies.

According to a master plan for solid waste treatment in HCMC in the 2016-2020 period, the city will employ advanced technologies to recycle waste to produce compost and reduce the volume of buried garbage to 60% while the remaining 40% of garbage will be used to generate electricity.

Up to now, buried garbage accounts for up to three fourths of the total waste volume.

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