Foreign trade tops US$240 billion in first six months

09:07 | 25/07/2019 Trade

(VEN) - In the first half of 2019, the total value of Vietnam’s foreign trade exceeded US$240 billion, with exports growing on a stable basis, maintaining a trade surplus.

foreign trade tops us 240 billion in first six months

Bright points

According to Tran Quoc Toan, Deputy Director of the Ministry of Industry and Trade’s Agency of Foreign Trade, the export value reached an estimated US$122.42 billion in the first six months, up 7.1 percent compared with the first half of 2018. The export growth set by the National Assembly for 2019 is 7-8 percent.

Twenty-two products were listed among goods with six-month export value exceeding US$1 billion, against 21 in the first half of 2018. Among 45 export products, 35 saw increases in export value, among them fruit, vegetables and yarn that joined the list of products with six-month export value exceeding US$2 billion.

Exports to markets with free trade agreements (FTAs) with Vietnam grew compared with the first six months of 2018. For example, exports to Japan reached US$9.68 billion, up 9.1 percent; to the Republic of Korea US$9.24 billion, up six percent; to ASEAN nearly US$13.07 billion, up 6.7 percent; to Canada US$1.81 billion, up 31.5; and to Mexico US$1.3 billion, up 22.4 percent.

In the first six months of 2019, the export value of foreign invested companies, including crude oil, was estimated at US$85.7 billion, up 5.7 percent compared with the same period last year. Meanwhile, the export value of domestic companies reached US$36.67 billion, up 10.4 percent. The percentage of exports by domestic companies in Vietnam’s total export value increased from 29.1 percent in the first half of 2018 to 30 percent in the first half of 2019.

The first-half import value reached an estimated US$120.78 billion, up 8.8 percent compared with the first six months of 2018. The import value of materials, fuels, machinery and equipment catering for domestic production and export processing increased.

Export facilitation

The export value in the first six months of 2019 was estimated at US$122.42 billion, lower than the desired result of US$123.5 billion mentioned in a scenario earlier this year. To achieve the 8-10 percent 2019 export growth target set by the government for the industry and trade sector, the export value in the second half of the year should average US$23-23.4 billion per month, an ambitious task in the context of declining global trade. However, efforts by the government, ministries, sectors and the business community are expected to help Vietnam achieve the 2019 export growth target.

Tran Quoc Toan said the Ministry of Industry and Trade is accelerating administrative reform to facilitate export activities. At the same time, it is finalizing documents on the origin of goods to protect domestic products against trade fraud.

In the first half of 2019, despite a trade deficit of several months, Vietnam maintained a trade surplus of US$1.64

billion.

Phuong Lan