08:32 | 22/04/2018 Society
Economic growth in the first quarter of 2018 hit a record high of 7.38 pct, the highest level since 2008, which was partly attributed to the positive growth of exports. Contrary to previous concerns, Vietnam's export revenue of goods climbed sharply in the first months of 2018, creating an optimistic beginning towards fulfilling the targets set for the entire year despite considerable challenges from international trade.
|The export turnover of the group of telephone and components accounted for 22.6 pct of the total export turnover in the first quarter|
In the first quarter of 2018, Vietnam's export turnover continued to advance with a total export value of US$54.31 billion, an increase of 22 pct over the same period last year, which was also higher than the rate of 21.1 pct for the whole of 2017 and nearly double the rate of only 12.8 pct in the first quarter of 2017.
The export growth rate of the domestic economic sector also recovered, posting an increase of 18.9 pct over the same quarter of 2017, while the export growth rate of the foreign direct investment (FDI) sector went up strongly by 23.2 pct over the same period in 2017.
However, the domestic sector remained sunk in a trade deficit of approximately US$6.3 billion in the first quarter of this year. Thanks to a huge trade surplus of US$7.6 billion from the FDI sector, Vietnam enjoyed an overall trade surplus of US$1.3 billion in the first quarter of this year, while the country suffered a trade deficit of US$1.9 billion in the corresponding period of 2017.
While the trade deficit in the first quarter of 2017 reduced the overall economic growth by 4.42 percentage points, the trade surplus in first quarter of this year contributed 1.19 percentage points to the overall economic growth.
The structure of key export goods has been established and continued to be maintained and consolidated in the first quarter of 2018. The export turnover of the group of telephone and components reached US$12.3 billion, accounting for 22.6 pct of the total export turnover in the first quarter, which also soared 58.8 pct over the same period in 2017.
The group of textiles and garments firmly secured the second position despite its export turnover being equivalent to just half of the leading group and its growth rate was just 12.9 pct.
The export revenue of the group of electronics, computers and components surged by 13.2 pct in the first quarter, much lower than the record high rate of 42.3 pct in the same period last year but equivalent to the revenue of US$6.3 billion in the textiles and garments group.
In addition, the structure of Vietnam's key export markets has changed as the EU has surpassed the US in becoming the largest export market of Vietnam in terms of export revenue in the first quarter of this year. Vietnam's exports to the EU increased sharply by 19.7 pct over the same period last year to US$9.8 billion, while exports to the US rose 11.6 pct to US$9.6 billion.
In particular, Vietnam's export revenue to China jumped 46 pct to US$9 billion in the first quarter, even higher than the rate of 43.3 pct in the same period in 2017. Of which, the export revenue of telephones and components increased dramatically by 674.4 pct in the first quarter of this year (the export revenue in the first quarter of 2017 also increased by 115.5 pct).
The upward trend of exports to China demonstrates that this market will probably occupy the top position ahead the US and the EU in the near future. The ASEAN market did not see any significant changes as it remained the fourth largest export market of Vietnam, accounting for 10.3 pct of Vietnam's total export revenue. The Republic of Korea (RoK) and Japanese markets contributed almost the same to Vietnam's export revenue with export revenues of US$4.3 billion and US$4.2 billion respectively.
Exports have helped to create a driving force for the first quarter of 2018 and have contributed positively to the economic growth while boosting exports for the whole of 2018. Export prospects will depend on the Government’s efforts to boost trade, commodities and market restructuring amid more risks and challenges facing global trade.