13:09 | 21/07/2018 Trade
(VEN) - In the first half of 2018, Vietnam’s total export turnover reached an estimated US$113.93 billion, an increase of 16 percent compared to a year ago, setting the stage for strong annual growth.
High growth in key exports
According to the General Statistics Office of Vietnam, exports of the domestic sector in the period reached US$33.07 billion, increasing 19.9 percent from the corresponding period last year, while those of the foreign direct investment (FDI) sector were up 14.5 percent to US$80.86 billion. Key export products saw high growth. Notably, there were 20 items with export turnover of more than US$1 billion, accounting for 85.6 percent of the country’s total export turnover. Vietnam’s export growth in the first half of the year was higher than that of other countries in the region as well as the target set by the National Assembly. The export growth rate of the domestic sector was also higher than that of the FDI sector, boosting expectations of sustainable export growth in the future.
To date, Vietnam has established trade relations with over 200 countries and territories, with 70 markets to which Vietnam exported goods worth over US$100 million. Vietnam has maintained high export growth rates with such markets as the US, China, the EU, the Republic of Korea, Japan, the Netherlands and Germany.
Expected trade value growth of 11.5 percent
Nguyen Quang Vinh, general secretary of the Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI), told participants at a June 28 seminar on supporting Vietnamese exporters that exports have played a very important role in Vietnam’s economic growth in recent years.
In 2017, Vietnam’s export turnover reached more than US$200 billion, with an impressive growth rate of 21 percent, Vinh said, adding that Vietnam’s key exports include agro-forestry-fishery products, garments and textiles, leather and footwear, furniture, engineering, electronics and electrical equipment, pharmaceuticals and plastic products. However, exporters, especially small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), are still weak at forecasting market supply and demand, and they lack information on export policies and markets, competitors and potential importers. Meanwhile, their export production and support service costs are still high, Vinh said.
Nguyen Viet Hung, director of the Department of National Single Window (NSW) and the ASEAN Single Window (ASW) under the General Department of Vietnam Customs, said Vietnam’s trade value would reach US$475-477 billion in 2018, up 11.5 percent over 2017. Of this figure, exports are projected to reach US$240-242 billion, an increase of 13 percent compared to a year ago. He also predicted the trade surplus would be modest in the year.
To achieve the targets, together with other ministries, departments and agencies, the customs sector will make greater efforts to accelerate reforms and promote modernization of state management. The sector will help enterprises implement customs procedures through the application of information technology, to pay export-import taxes via electronic means, and to conduct customs clearance in a speedy manner.
The General Department of Vietnam Customs will continue to complete the e-customs system by building a mobile technology platform to connect with enterprises, contributing to the availability of customs procedures at all times. Tran Thanh Hai, deputy director of the Agency of Foreign Trade under the Ministry of Industry and Trade, said the industry and trade sector would continue to disseminate and clarify information, and raise community awareness in terms of opportunities provided by free trade agreements. In addition, the sector will strengthen review and evaluate the impact of free trade agreements on each industry in order to adjust the development strategy in an appropriate manner.
The General Department of Vietnam Customs is coordinating with ministries and departments in negotiating with
other countries and major trading partners to recognize the test results of each other’s export goods in order to