Vietnam’s trade surplus reaches USD 10 billion

Vietnam ran a trade surplus of USD 10 billion so far this year as trade has bounced back.
August 22, 2020 | 08:08
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Women work at a garment factory in northern Vietnam. Photo: Reuters.

Vietnam ran a trade surplus of USD 10 billion so far this year as trade has bounced back, according to the General Department of Customs

As of mid-August, total export turnover touched USD 160.2 billion, representing a year-on-year increase of nearly USD 3 billion or 1.8 percent, VGP reported.

Meanwhile, import value decreased by USD 4 billion to USD 150.2 billion.

In the first 15 days of August alone, exports totaled nearly USD 12.7 billion and import volume valued USD 10.8 billion.

The biggest hard currency earners included telephones and spare parts with USD 2.58 billion; computers, electronic products, and spare parts with USD 1.9 billion; garments and textiles with USD 1.36 billion; machines, equipment, and spare parts with USD 1.11 billion; and footwear with USD 652 million.

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Shipping containers are seen at a port in Ho Chi Minh City. Photo by Shutterstock/Igor Grochev

On the other hand, Vietnam chiefly imported computers, electronic products and spare parts with USD 2.9 billion; machines, equipment, and spare parts with USD 1.58 billion; phones and spare parts with USD 759 million; and fabrics with USD 447 million.

Vietnam's trade balance reached USD 2.77 billion in July, lifting total trade surplus to USD 8.23 billion in the first seven months of 2020, according to VOV.

The number was much higher than the General Statistics Office (GSO)'s estimate of USD 6.5 billion in late July and a record high for a seven-month value. This was also Vietnam's third month in a row recording a trade surplus despite the adverse impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on the economy.

Trade surplus soared because domestic production declined as the country narrowed imports of input materials,” a Ministry of Planning and Investment official told Investment Review.

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Shoe factory of the Ha Tay Chemical Weave Co. Ltd in Hanoi's Ba Vi district. Photo: VNA

Vietnam usually relies on imports of input materials for production, yet imports of these product groups in the first seven months of 2020 were down 3 percent. Data showed imports of fabrics, steel and other materials for textile and footwear declined by more than 10 percent.

In the future, to facilitate export activities, the Ministry of Industry and Trade is planning to implement a series of solutions such as promoting trade through e-commerce; strengthening information about free trade agreements; continuing to cut unnecessary import and export procedures; and requesting the Vietnamese trade services abroad to seek new markets for Vietnamese goods.

Notably, the trade agreement between Vietnam and the European Union that entered into force from August 2020 is expected to open greater opportunities for Vietnamese enterprises to access the world's second-largest import market with a population of more than 508 million people and combined GDP of about USD 18 trillion. /.

Vietnam is expected to continue growing its share of global exports despite decline amid the resurgence in the COVID-19 pandemic after three months of no local transmissions.

If there was a new wave of infections in Vietnam, it could still be relatively better off given that the situation is worse in many other markets and regions,” according to HSBC Global Research.

Vietnamese authorities have done a good job in containing the transmission by far, which increases our confidence that the country is better prepared to deal with any further waves.

“Vietnam is one of the best long-term growth stories in Asia.

“If Vietnam were a company, we would highlight market share gains, a strong balance sheet, robust growth, and good management. We maintain our positive view on Vietnam,” the report said.

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