08:34 | 12/11/2018 Trade
(VEN) - A Ministry of Industry and Trade (MoIT) forecast puts the value of 2018 goods exports at US$237-239 billion, a 10-12 percent increase compared with last year, yielding a trade surplus of about US$2 billion.
Processing industry, driving force
MoIT data show that Vietnam exported an estimated US$178.91 billion worth of goods in the first nine months of 2018, up 15.4 percent compared with the same period last year; the nine-month import value reached an estimated US$173.52 billion, up 11.8 percent. These import, export results yielded a trade surplus of US$5.39 billion.
According to Nguyen Thi Mai Linh from the MoIT’s Foreign Trade Agency, rice and seafood topped the list of agricultural, forest and aquatic products in terms of export growth. Except for rice, cassava and tea, prices of other agricultural products were lower compared with the first nine months of 2017.
The processing industry remained a driving force of export growth, with telephones making the largest contribution. In March and August, Vietnam’s export value reached new records, US$21.13 billion and US$23.48 billion, respectively. These results were attributed mostly to the high export value of telephones (over US$5 billion).
Positive export results were also recorded in other processing industry products, such as textiles, garments, leather, footwear and wood products. Notably, the export growth of textiles and garments in the first nine months, 17.1 percent, was double that of the same period last year.
Nguyen Thi Mai Linh said that optimistic global economic forecasts strengthen domestic companies’ hopes for opportunities to increase exports in the final months of year. Companies are also counting on free trade agreements (FTAs) to gradually zero out import taxes. The Comprehensive and Progressive Trans-Pacific Partnership and the soon to be signed FTA between Vietnam and the EU will help Vietnam attract more foreign direct investment and increase manufacturing opportunities. In addition, the government, ministries and sectors have taken various measures to improve the business environment, facilitate production and promote exports.
“Recently, following its 14th period of review on tra fish and the 12th review of its kind on shrimp, the US Department of Commerce decided to reduce anti-dumping duties on these products. This decision is expected to give an impulse to Vietnamese seafood exports in 2018 and 2019, especially shrimp and tra fish,” Nguyen Thi Mai Linh said.
However, Vietnamese exporters have to cope with new trade barriers resulting from growing protectionism. Therefore, the MoIT will continue keeping a close watch on changes in the global situation, especially the trade war between the US and China, in order to provide businesses with guidance on boosting their export potential and tightening management to prevent fraudulent trade.