Vietnamese exports aim for US$239 billion by year-end

Monday, 2018-10-08 17:30:32
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Mobile phones are one of the items making the largest contribution to the export revenue (illustrative image)
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NDO - The Ministry of Industry and Trade (MoIT) forecasts that Vietnam could earn a total export revenue of US$237 - US$239 billion in 2018, an increase of 10-12% over the previous year and enjoy a trade surplus of approximately US$2 billion, due to high export growth in the first nine months of this year.

Export revenue continues to soar sharply

According to the MoIT, Vietnam reported total export revenue of approximately US$178.91 billion in the January-September period, up 15.4% over the same period in 2017. Of which, the export revenue of the domestic sector was estimated at US$51.08 billion, an increase of 17.5%, while the export revenue of the foreign direct investment (FDI) sector (including crude oil) was posted at US$127.84 billion, an annual increase of 14.6%.

During the nine-month period, Vietnam also imported US$173.52 billion worth of goods, a rise of 11.8% against the corresponding period of 2017.

The country also enjoyed a high trade surplus of US$5.39 billion in the first nine months of the year due to a high trade surplus in the FDI sector at US$23.65 billion, while the domestic sector report a trade deficit of US$18.26 billion.

According to the MoIT's Import-Export Department, rice and seafood were among the agro-forestry-fishery products to report positive growth in the first three quarters of this year. Excluding rice, cassava and tea, the prices of the other export agricultural products have fallen sharply over the same period in 2017.

The processing industry continues to be the driving force of exports, in which, mobile phones are one of the items making the largest contribution to the export revenue. Vietnam's export revenue reached a record high of over US$21 billion in March and August, mainly attributed to the high export growth of goods which posted an export turnover of over US$5 billion in each month.

The high export growth of the processing industry was not only based on mobile phones but other traditional export items, including garments and textiles, leather and footwear, and furniture, which all reported positive results in the first months of 2018. In particular, the garment and textile industry posted a nine-month growth of 17.1%, much higher than the nine-month growth rate of 8.7% in 2017.

The export revenue is likely to rise by 10-12%

Based on the nine-month import and export situation, the total export revenue is estimated to reach US$237-239 billion for whole of 2018, up 10-12% compared to 2017 and the total import revenue is forecast to climb to US$235-237 billion, resulting in a trade surplus of approximately US$2 billion.

According to the MoIT, Vietnam has large room for export growth in the remaining months of this year. Under the commitments from free trade agreements (FTA), tariffs on the imports of a number of goods will gradually be reduced to 0%, creating favourable conditions for Vietnamese goods.

The Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) and the Vietnam-EU FTA are generating opportunities to attract foreign direct investment and increase production in Vietnam. In addition, the Government and ministries are implementing many measures to reform the business environment and improve competitiveness in a bid to facilitate production and promote the export of goods.

Recently, the US Department of Commerce (DOC) also reduced its anti-dumping duties on Vietnamese tra fish and shrimp, under its conclusion of the 14th period on the review on tra fish and the 12th review on shrimp. This decision will help to boost seafood exports, especially shrimp and tra fish, to the US in 2018 and 2019, said General Secretary of the Vietnam Association of Seafood Exporters and Producers (VASEP), Truong Dinh Hoe.

However, exports will also face challenges such as increasing trade protectionism and barriers. Therefore, the MoIT has urged the ministries, localities, and enterprises to implement the Prime Minister's Directive No.25 on a number of solutions to promote production and exports, closely monitoring the fluctuations in the world market, especially the US-China trade war, to take the initiative in their export activities.

The ministry has also strengthened its management over trade activities to prevent the risk of trade fraud and counterfeit goods. In the coming years, trade promotion activities will be comprehensively renewed with the focus on long-term trade promotion programmes on key markets, according to the MoIT.