The Ministry of Industry and Trade has forecast that Viet Nam’s total export revenue will grow 10-12% to hit a record of US$ 239 billion for the whole year 2018, much higher than the set target of US$ 214 billion.
Deputy head of the ministry’s Foreign Trade Agency Tran Thanh Hai, shipments of key products such as telephones and spare parts, garment and textiles, electronics, computers and spare parts, equipment and footwear during January-October continued to rise over the same time last year.
In stark contrast, steep decline was seen in the export of crude oil, which fell 24.8% year on year to US$1.8 billion.
Viet Nam raked in some US$ 200.3 billion from exports in the period, or 14.2% higher than the amount earned in the same time in 2017. Of the total amount, US$ 56.82 billion was contributed by domestic sector and US$143.45 billionby foreign-invested sector.
The U.S. remained the largest importer of Viet Nam when it spent US$ 39.17 billion purchasing products from the Southeast Asian country (up 13.4% year-on-year), followed by the EU with US$ 34.6 billion (increasing 9%), China with US$33.1 billion (growing 25.1%), ASEAN with US$ 20.4 billion (expanding 13%), and Japan with US$15.26 billion (rising 10.2%).
Hai said in the period, Viet Nam continued to promote exports to its traditional markets while developing new markets by capitalising on the free trade agreements (FTAs) which have taken effect or are under negotiations.
If local firms know how to take full advantage of the FTAs, this will serve as a catalyst to bolster exports, he said, adding that improvement in business climate has given momentum to the expansion of export enterprises.
Also in the ten-month period, Viet Nam splashed out US$ 193.84 billion on imports, a year-on-year increase of 11.8%. Most of the purchased products were electronic products, computers and spare parts, equipment, telephones and spare parts, steel and petrol.
Experts said domestic production has shown signs of strong recovery as the rate of imports that need to be controlled only accounted for 6.5% of the total import revenue.
During January-October, the country enjoyed a trade surplus of US$ 6.4 billion, with a trade deficit of US$20.7 billion from the domestic sector, and US$ 27.1 billion in trade surplus from the foreign-invested sector.
The Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) and the EU-Viet Nam free trade agreement, which will take effect in the end of this year, have made Viet Nam more attractive to foreign-direct investment. Domestic investment, sparked by business confidence, favourable business environment, stable monetary policy, is forecast to continue increasing to generate new production capacity together with foreign investment.
Furthermore, Vietnamese firms are more confident to bolster shrimp and tra fish exports to the U.S. after the country decided to reduce anti-dumping tariffs on the products.
Deputy Minister of Trade and Industry Do Thang Hai said that to promote exports in the last two months of the year, the ministry will keep a close watch on the world’s economic developments, particularly the escalating U.S.-China trade war, to pen rational measures to enhance shipments and prevent trade and origin frauds.
Production of goods meeting quality and food safety standards as well as fitting the taste of export markets will be prioritised, Hai stressed.
On the other hand, the ministry will work to give timely forecast and warning over the safeguard measures imposed on Vietnamese products while removing bottlenecks for enterprises to branch out export markets.
Besides, it will pay due attention to increasing Viet Nam’s market share in traditional markets and creating favourable conditions for Vietnamese products to gain foothold in new markets.
Accelerating negotiation, signing and ratification of free trade deals with foreign countries and implementing Viet Nam’s integration commitments should be placed at the first line of the measures, he said./.