Vietnam exporters warned of more trade barriers ahead

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Vietnamese exporters will have difficulties increasing shipments next year as many countries are set to introduce more trade barriers to protect domestic industries, a government's trade agency said.

Last year brought a global rise in protectionism around the world, thesaigontimes.vn reported, citing findings from the Vietnam Trade Promotion Agency.

The trend is expected to continue in 2013 as importing countries attempt to deal with domestic economic problems, the report found.

An unnamed official from the Ministry of Industry and Trade said protectionism will have a negative impact on Vietnamese exports, especially on certain staples including steel, plactic and wood products.

"Apart from these trade barriers, Vietnam will face increased competition from other exporters who have cheaper labor costs and higher productivity," the official said.

Vietnam's exports rose to $9.1 billion in May from $8.96 billion in April, according to the General Statistics Office. Shipments during the first five months increased 24.1 percent to $42.86 billion.

In May, the World Bank reported that Vietnam had managed to reduce its current account deficit from 4.1 percent in 2010 to 0.5 percent of its GDP last year, mainly due to strong export earnings. The bank said key labor-intensive manufacturing exports such as garments, footwear, and furniture continued to grow this year.

Vietnam's exports will rise 14 percent this year to US$110.5 billion, compared to an increase of 34.2 percent last year, the World Bank forecast.

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