15:54 | 25/05/2015 Industry
(VEN) - According to the Ministry of Industry and Trade, in the first four months of this year, the index of industrial production (IIP) almost doubled that of the same period in 2014, pointing towards bright economic prospects ahead.
Strong industrial growth
This April, the IIP grew 9.5 percent compared with the same month last year. In the first four months, the index increased 9.4 percent, nearly double the same period last year. In fact, most industries achieved higher growth rates compared with the same period last year. For example, mining was up 6.7 percent; processing and manufacturing industries rose by 10.1 percent; electricity generation and distribution were up 10.6 percent; while water supply, waste, and wastewater treatment saw an increase of 6.4 percent.
The production index of some industrial products grew at especially high rates, most notably mobile phones at 89 percent; automobiles 58 percent; televisions 42 percent; leather footwear 25 percent; and food for aquatic animals 24 percent. The sales of some groups of industrial products also grew at satisfactory rates, for example motorized vehicles 46.3 percent; electronic products, computers and optical products 40.1 percent; and metals 23.4 percent.
In the first four months, the operations of Samsung Electronics made a considerable contribution to the 353 percent IIP growth achieved by Thai Nguyen Province. The second stage of the Samsung Thai Nguyen Hi-tech Complex project is currently underway and is expected to help the province achieve further breakthroughs in the time to come. Quang Nam ranked second with an IIP growth rate of 21.8 percent. This was followed by Hai Phong (15 percent); Da Nang (10 percent); Hanoi (7.3 percent), and Ho Chi Minh City (5.5 percent).
In the first four months, the export value reached an estimated US$50.1 billion, a rise of 8.2 percent compared with the same period last year. Although this was higher growth compared with the first quarter (6.9 percent), Vietnam continued to face numerous export difficulties due to the decrease in the price of crude oil. The export value of many agricultural, forestry, and aquatic products also decreased. Specifically, seafood dropped 15 percent, while coffee was down 38.3 percent and and rice dipped by five percent.
With the import value reaching an estimated US$53.1 billion, Vietnam faced a trade deficit of about US$2.99 billion (six percent of the export value) in the first four months.
In April, however, the trade deficit was US$600 million, down 57 percent compared with March and equal to 4.1 percent of the total export value. Major imports included machinery, equipment, instruments and spare parts.
Businesses imported more materials useful for domestic production such as petroleum, maize, rubber, cotton, iron, and steel. Rises in the import of these materials have prompted economists to forecast that exports would increase strongly in the coming months.
In the time to come, the Ministry of Industry and Trade will promote exports through trade and investment promotion activities as well as efforts to accelerate free trade agreement negotiations. Along with boosting exports, the ministry will tighten import controls to curb the trade deficit at below five percent this year as guided by the prime minister.
By Phuong Lan