Plastics are used as materials for the production of a variety of items that make an important contribution to human life. Along with the development of science and technology, plastics are also used and have become a substitute for the seemingly irreplaceable materials such as wood, metal, and silicate. Therefore, the plastic industry plays an increasingly important role in every economy.
Although the plastic industry is still at its early age compared to other established industries such as mechanics, electricity - electronics, chemicals, and textiles, it has experienced a strong development in recent years. Between 2010 and 2015, the plastic industry was one of the fastest growing industries in Vietnam with an annual growth rate of 16% - 18% per year (following telecommunications and textiles). With the rapid growth rate, plastic industry is considered as a dynamic economic sector in the Vietnamese economy. Such growth is resulted from a large market with great potential, and from the fact that Vietnam's plastic industry is only at the beginning of its development compared to the world.
In 2015, the plastic industry produced and consumed nearly 5 million tons of products. The plastic products per capita has increased from 3.8 kg / year in 1990 to 41 kg / year. This increase shows that the demand for using plastic products in Vietnam is on the rise.
So far, there have been more than 2,000 companies operating in Vietnam’s plastic industry. Most of these are private companies located in Ho Chi Minh City.
Products from the plastic industry are very diversified and are increasingly used in many fields and many industries. For example, plastic products are used for packaging, household items, stationery, toys, etc. In some industries such as construction and electricity - electronics, plastic has also become a substitute for traditional materials.
SYSTEM OF PLASTICS BUSINESSES IN VIETNAM
(Geographical distributions & by Industry)
Despite the strong development in recent years, Vietnam’s plastic industry only focuses on plastic processing, and is not fully active in the supply of raw materials for production activities. Currently, the plastic industry needs an average of 3.5 million tons of input materials such as PE, PP, PS etc., not to mention hundreds of different auxiliary chemicals. Domestic resources can only provide about 900,000 tons of raw materials, chemicals and additives for the needs of the industry.
Therefore, the import of plastic materials has continuously increased in volume and value over the years. It was forecasted that by 2020, Vietnamese plastic enterprises would need about 5 million tons of raw materials to serve their production needs. Therefore, that raw materials cannot be provided domestically will be a big obstacle for plastic enterprises to carry out production as well as increase their competitiveness in the context that Vietnam has participated in many bilateral and multilateral free trade agreements.
In addition, the production cost of the plastic industry has also fluctuated in accordance with the prices of imported raw materials, especially PP and PE, whose prices had an average growth of 11.7% over the past five years.
In spite of many difficulties in operation, Vietnam’s plastic industry is still gradually asserting its position in the economy. Vietnam's plastic products are not only widely consumed in the domestic market but also exported to and gradually dominate many foreign markets.
The strong increase in export turnover shows that Vietnam's plastic products are being used by many countries around the world and gradually affirming the important position of the plastic industry in the general economic development.
In foreign markets, Vietnam's plastic products are considered highly competitive because modern production technologies have been applied. Vietnam's plastic products are currently present in more than 150 countries and regions around the world, including Japan, Cambodia, Laos, Thailand, China, India, the Middle East, Africa, EU, the US, etc. Among these markets, China, India, Russia, Eastern Europe, Africa are of great potential with high demand for packaging, consumer and construction plastic products.