The plastic product manufacturing industry is one of the fastest growing industries in Vietnam, sustaining an average growth rate of 15 to 20 percent annually during the last ten years. This robust growth is driven by significant increases in both domestic consumption and exports. Plastic consumption per capita grew sharply from 12 kg per year in 2000 to 36 kg per year in 2009 and Vietnamese plastic exports rose dramatically from $200 million in 2000 to $1 billion in 2009.
The country produces a broad array of plastic products including packaging products, house wares, construction materials, electronic and electrical components, motorbike and automotive parts, and components for the telecommunications and transportation industries. Up to date, Vietnam has exported its plastic products, mostly plastic packaging items, to 41 nations and territories in the world and records an average export growth rate of 21 percent per year.
Vietnam is a net importer of plastic materials and machinery needed for its rapidly-growing plastic industry. The country imports approximately 90 percent of input materials, mostly from Taiwan, Korea, Thailand, Singapore, Japan, Malaysia, the United States, China, and Saudi Arabia. In addition, Vietnam imports roughly 96 percent of the equipment and machinery, mostly from Taiwan, China, Korea, Japan, Germany, Italy and the United States.
Best Prospects/Services and Opportunities
Driven by the urgent need to upgrade its plastic product manufacturing technologies and diversify products to maintain and increase its plastic products’ competitiveness at home and abroad, Vietnam has to import more advanced plastic manufacturing equipment and machines as well as high-quality plastic materials. This trend offers good sales prospects for U.S. manufacturers and suppliers of plastic machinery and materials.
Furthermore, Vietnam’s development strategy to build factories to produce plastic materials, semi-finished products, chemicals, additives and molds presents great opportunities for the U.S. suppliers of plastic manufacturing equipment, machines and mold-making technology. In addition, the country’s plan to build a number of plastic waste recycling facilities presents good sales opportunities for the U.S. suppliers of related equipment and machines.
Meanwhile, the country’s concentration on producing hi-tech and for-export plastic products presents great market opportunities for U.S. suppliers of high-quality plastic input materials. On top of these best prospect sub-sectors for U.S. suppliers, the markets for plastic waste material and second-hand but well-functioning plastic manufacturing equipment and machines will provide good sales prospects for U.S. suppliers if the Vietnam Plastic Association’s proposal for the importation of such items is approved. At present, the importation of plastic waste materials and second-hand plastic manufacturing equipment and machines are subject to rigorous limitations. Details on the regulatory issues related to the importation of these items are available from the U.S. Commercial Service in Vietnam.
Plastic industry analysts estimate that imports of plastic materials and machinery from the United States account for a modest share of 5 percent and 2.5 percent respectively of Vietnam’s total imports. However, U.S. suppliers, thanks to a reputation in Vietnam for high quality products, advanced technologies and professionalism, possess good potential to increase their market share in Vietnam.