14:16 | 24/03/2017 Trade
(VEN) - According to the General Statistics Office, Vietnam exported an estimated US$27.3 billion worth of goods in the first two months of this year, a rise of 15.4 percent compared with the same period in 2016. Duong Phuong Thao, Deputy Head of the Agency of Foreign Trade under the Ministry of Industry and Trade, attributed the growth to price increases.
Textile and garment exports continue to grow
For example textile and garment exports reached US$3.7 billion, up 12.2 percent; electronic products, computers and components - US$3.1 billion, up 34.4 percent; footwear - US$2.1 billion, up 10.7 percent; machinery, equipment and spare parts - US$1.9 billion, up 49.5 percent; and crude oil - US$432 million, up 46.3 percent.
The export value of agricultural, forest and aquatic products also grew thanks to the recovery of global market demand. In the first two months, Vietnam exported US$4.3 billion worth of these products, up 1.4 percent compared with the same period last year.
Agricultural products with higher export value compared with the first two months of 2016 included coffee (US$616 million, up 22.3 percent); rubber (US$392 million, up 2.4 times); timber and wood products (US$944 million, up 0.8 percent).
Impetus for export growth
Despite these positive results, Thao indicated difficulties facing the export of many key products. Rice is an example. The Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development predicted that rice output in the coming winter-spring crop would possibly reach 3.6-3.7 million tonnes. But many businesses are worried that rice output will not reach the predicted level. Therefore, they have pushed up the purchase price of rice in the Mekong Delta by VND50-100 per kg. This, in turn, will reduce the competitiveness of Vietnamese rice in the global market. “The Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development needs to provide more information for businesses in order to ease rice export activities,” Thao said.
Vietnam is completing final procedures for exporting chicken to Japan. However, it is worried that the avian influenza may have an adverse impact on the export of the first consignment to Japan. Therefore, along with officials’ efforts to prevent the spread of disease from imported poultry, the agricultural sector should take stronger action to prevent and combat avian influenza.
Thao said at a recent meeting of the domestic market management team in Hanoi that the UK would trigger Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty to exit the EU this March, and this may lead to the depreciation of the Euro.
“The State Bank of Vietnam needs to apply a more flexible monetary policy to make the most of this opportunity to promote exports, because President Donald Trump wants to lower the value of the US dollar to increase exports,” she emphasized.
According to the General Statistics Office of Vietnam, a trade deficit of US$46 million in the first two months of this year
stems mostly from materials and machinery imports for domestic production.