06:00 | 15/03/2021 Trade
(VEN) - Vietnam’s import-export turnover reached US$97.5 billion in the first two months of the year, an increase of 26.7 percent compared to a year ago, with exports surging 27.1 percent to US$50 billion. During the week of February 10-16, import-export turnover reached US$1.67 billion, a year-on-year increase of 53 percent.
Rice, shoes and more
On January 8, 2021, Cambodia’s Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry, and Fisheries announced a ban on imports of four species of catfish from neighboring countries, including Vietnam. However, at the urging of Vietnam’s Ministry of Industry and Trade, Cambodia agreed to reconsider the ban and decided to resume imports of the four catfish species from its neighbors.
In the first month of the year, the first 60 tonnes of fragrant rice shipped to the UK under the UK-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement (UKVFTA) hit the shelves in London. The zero tariff on Vietnamese high-quality rice under the trade pact provides Vietnam with a competitive edge and an opportunity to expand its market share in the UK this year.
Wood exports increased 51 percent in the first two months of 2021 compared to the same period last year. To ensure compliance with EU regulations, Vietnam has to import raw wood from a third country to craft into wooden furniture.
Exports of garments and textiles, and mobile phones and components saw an increase of 5.2 percent and 29.4 percent during the reviewed period, respectively, attesting to Vietnam’s effective use of the recent free trade agreements to which it is a signatory, especially the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP), the EU-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA), and the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP).
Footwear exports also increased by 15.4 percent in the first two months of the year compared to a year ago. According to the Ministry of Industry and Trade, new supply chains established as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic will provide opportunities for Vietnamese footwear enterprises to participate deeply in the global supply chain. Moreover, FDI enterprises continue to invest and expand their production, contributing to the growth of the footwear industry.
Shortage of containers
Vietnam’s major export markets, such as the US, China, the EU, Japan, the Republic of Korea, Australia and ASEAN member economies, have opened their doors for Vietnamese goods. In particular, Vietnam’s exports to Australia surged by 62 percent, with seafood exports more than doubling.
Although exports have achieved positive results, the country still faces difficulties and challenges, such as a shortage of containers that has led to an unprecedented increase in shipping tariffs. The shortage of containers stems from an export boom, on the one hand, and quarantines of ship crews in foreign ports. In addition, the yellow card for illegal, unreported, and unregulated (IUU) fishing is still in effect.