Vietnam posts export growth despite pandemic effects

06:00 | 11/11/2020 Economy

(VEN) - Exports continue to be a bright spot of Vietnam’s economic picture in 2020, with the annual total expected to reach US$267 billion.

vietnam posts export growth despite pandemic effects

‘New normal’ export growth

According to the Ministry of Industry and Trade, Vietnam’s exports reached US$80.07 billion in the third quarter of 2020, an increase of 11 percent compared to the same period last year and 34 percent compared to the previous quarter. In general, exports were estimated to increase by 4.1 percent in the first nine months of the year compared to a year ago.

The government’s socioeconomic reports for 2020 and the 2016-2020 period state that import-export activities were affected heavily in the first months of 2020 by the spread of the Covid-19 pandemic and the disruption of supply chains. Despite the global trade recession, the newly implemented EU-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA) is expected to provide great opportunities for Vietnam in promoting export growth and developing supply chains.

Since the EVFTA took effect on August 1, authorized agencies have granted about 23,800 sets of certificates of origin (C/Os) worth US$963 million, enabling exports of Vietnamese products to 27 EU countries. The goods are mainly footwear, seafood, plastics and plastic products, coffee, garments and textiles, bags, suitcases, fruit and vegetables, rattan, bamboo, and knitting products. The import markets are countries with seaports and transshipment centers in the EU, such as Belgium, Germany, the Netherlands, and France.

Many Vietnamese exports have benefitted already, including brackish shrimp, coffee, passion fruit and rice, while other items like phones and components, machinery, equipment and spare parts, garments and textiles, leather and footwear, seafood and furniture have also recorded growth.

Truong Dinh Hoe, secretary-general of the Vietnam Association of Seafood Exporters and Producers (VASEP), said shrimp exports to the EU have increased by 14-15 percent since the EVFTA took effect. Many other products also promise a strong increase in export turnover once European importers familiarize themselves with Vietnamese seafood.

The domestic sector remained a bright spot with its export value reaching US$71.4 billion in the first nine months of the year, a year-on-year increase of 19.5 percent. The foreign-invested sector reached US$131 billion in exports (including crude oil) in the reviewed period, a drop of 2.8 percent compared to a year ago.

Trade surplus of US$7 billion

According to the government’s socioeconomic reports, total import-export turnover is expected to reach about US$527 billion this year, an increase of 1.8 percent compared to 2019, including US$267 billion in exports and US$260 billion in imports. The trade surplus is expected to reach US$7 billion.

To facilitate exports, the Ministry of Industry and Trade will continue to implement drastic measures in order to maintain market share in traditional markets, expand export markets, and cut red tape to support businesses.

The ministry will also strengthen online trade promotion activities, promote the application of information technology and boost e-commerce development.

Phuong Lan