Exports, imports grow strongly despite difficulties

10:35 | 28/12/2016 Trade

(VEN) - According to statistics from the General Department of Vietnam Customs, as of November 15, 2016, the country’s total export-import turnover reached US$300 billion, confirming regular growth of international trade. In particular, each of US$100 billion was achieved in a short time.  

Rapid growth

The first US$100 billion in export-import turnover was recorded in late 2007, while the milestone of US$200 billion was established on December 25, 2011. Nearly five years later, Vietnam’s export-import turnover hit US$300 billion.

Strong growth in imports and exports in less than 10 years originated from Vietnam’s participation in the World Trade Organization (WTO). The 2007-2011 period was considered the golden age as a series of Vietnam’s export commodities such as coffee, rice and pepper established leading positions in the world market.

According to the Ministry of Industry and Trade’s statistics, in the first four years since joining WTO, Vietnam’s exports grew strongly. Export turnover in 2007 reached US$48.6 billion, up 21.9 percent compared to 2006. In 2011, this figure stood at US$96.91 billion, exceeding 22 percent of the yearly plan.

Meanwhile, imports in 2007 totaled US$62.8 billion (the cost, insurance and freight price), an increase of 39.8 percent compared to 2006. The import value increased by nearly two times in 2011 compared to 2007, reaching US$106.75 billion, exceeding 14.2 percent of the yearly plan.

From December 25, 2011 to November 15, 2016, export-import turnover growth faced many difficulties due to the economic crisis lasted from 2008. A reduced demand in agricultural products posed many problems for exports, while slow growth in the processing industry was recorded. In addition, imports also witnessed a fall.

The Ministry of Industry and Trade’s data revealed that exports during the 2011-2015 period increased by 17.5 percent a year on average, lower than the previous period, but higher than the target set out by the Strategy for Exports and Imports in the 2011-2020 period. Trade deficit compared to total export turnover declined from 22.4 percent during the 2006-2010 period to 1.93 percent in the 2011-2015 period.

The structure of export commodities moved in the direction of increasing the share of the processing industry, in accordance with the roadmap for implementing the Strategy for Exports and Imports in the 2011-2020 period, with a vision to 2030. Key exports such as garments and textiles, footwear, wood products, machinery and spare parts maintained stable growth, while new export commodities such as phones, computers and electronic products were promoted.

Major solutions were put in place

According to the Ministry of Industry and Trade, in addition to difficulties and challenges, export-import activities in the next five years will receive more opportunities. Further improving the business environment continues to be deployed in order to create the most favorable conditions for exports. Free trade agreements promise to help expand export markets for Vietnamese commodities and have a positive impact on export growth. However, Vietnam has also to commit to open its market for imported goods. In addition, technical barriers and trade defense measures are increasing, posing difficulties for Vietnam’s exports.

To promote exports, aiming to its turnover of US$300 billion by 2020 and the balance of trade following Decision 2471/QD-TTg on approving the Strategy for Exports and Imports in the 2011-2020 period, with a vision to 2030, the Ministry of Industry and Trade is actively deploying many solutions such as strengthening production, making most of opportunities provided by free trade agreements and improving competitiveness.

The Ministry of Industry and Trade is also implementing a plan to help Vietnamese businesses directly participate in foreign distribution networks through 2020. Moreover, diversifying trade promotion activities and strengthening cooperation with countries in organizing trade promotion programs are needed.

It also requires to expand export markets, ensuring quality associated with branding. In particular, to save time and costs for export businesses, the industry and trade sector will simplify administrative procedures for export-turnover activities.

Minister of Industry and Trade Tran Tuan Anh stressed that in addition to specific solutions for each group of goods, planning material areas to ensure supplies, reviewing mechanisms and policies to encourage investment in high-tech applications, developing support industries and overcoming obstacles in tax and customs are mentioned as necessary. In addition, the Ministry of Industry and Trade will also work with relevant ministries and departments to resolve problems for enterprises.

Phuong Lan