Many opinions were put forward at a conference regarding the steel industry held on November 27 by VET and VINASTAS.
"According to import data for the first eight months of this year, the amount of finished steel products stood at nearly 10 million tonnes, with turnover at approximately $5.1 billion, up 49 per cent in volume and 13 per cent in value year-on-year.
The 10 million tonnes of steel imports consisted of 6 million tonnes of hot-rolled steel sheet, which is a necessary input for many business lines, including cold steel, galvanized steel sheet, and welded steel pipes. These entirely depend upon imports as Vietnam still lacks the ability to meet demand, so the domestic steel industry has not been unduly affected by these imports.
Questions concerning origin, inferior quality, and commercial fraud have become increasingly keen. It is difficult to distinguish between counterfeit and genuine steel, and the use of the former has a range of unintended consequences.
In recent times the amount of steel on the market with a weight and size below State-specified standards has been on the increase. The common ploy among traders is to sell counterfeit or low quality steel to buyers who are unable to identify the difference, or sell steel with a thickness that is 1 mm less than it should be.
Apart from having a detrimental effect on the market share and interests of genuine enterprises, the production and trade of counterfeit steel and commercial fraud have significant impacts on the quality of construction and, hence, people’s safety. If steel does not meet quality standards, such as sufficient thickness of the steel base and the coating, any construction it is used in will be at risk."
Mr. Do Thanh Lam, Deputy Director of the Market Surveillance Agency
"In recent years commercial fraud in the industry has become more widespread and complex, especially pre-coated galvanized steel, which is a key material in the industry and an important part of the national economy.
The situation has influenced manufacturing activities and the trade deficit and affected customer confidence, worsening the business environment and Vietnam’s image in the eyes of international investors. According to estimates from the Vietnam Steel Association, with the current consumption capacity, every year customers and the State budget lose millions of dollars."
Mr. Vu Dinh Hoe, Deputy Editor-in-Chief of Vietnam Economic Times
Genuine enterprises have suffered a loss of prestige due to commercial fraud and counterfeit goods. This has led to reduced market share and created cut-throat competition. Other consequences include revenue losses for the State budget, wasted money from purchasing low-quality products, and endangerment to people because of low construction quality.
Mr. Nguyen Van Sua, Vice Chairman of the Vietnam Steel Association
“In the short term, strong measures are needed to control the appearance of counterfeit and poor quality sheet steel, and in the long term Vietnam should have its own national standards on quality.”
Mr. Vu Van Thanh, Vice Chairman of the Hoa Sen Group