09:42 | 04/06/2018 Trade
(VEN) - The export growth achieved in April enabled Vietnam to maintain a trade surplus after the first four months of 2018.
According to Tran Quoc Toan, Deputy Director of the Ministry of Industry and Trade (MoIT)’s Foreign Trade Agency, Vietnam exported about US$18.2 billion worth of goods in April 2018, a rise of 4.1 percent compared with April 2017. In the first four months, the export value reached an estimated US$73.76 billion, up 19 percent compared with the same period last year. The domestic sector exported goods worth US$20.28 billion, up 17.9 percent, while exports by foreign invested enterprises totaled US$53.48 billion, up 19.4 percent.
The import value reached US$17.5 billion in April 2018, up 10.1 percent compared with April 2017. In the first four months, the import value reached an estimated US$70.37 billion, 10.1 percent higher than the same period last year. A trade surplus of US$700 million was recorded in April, raising the four-month trade surplus to US$3.39 billion. Notably, the export value of agricultural, forest and aquatic products, especially fruit and vegetables, grew strongly.
Tran Quoc Toan said Vietnam’s sales of watermelon to China are growing and its price has been relatively stable. In early April, China decided to apply quarantine regulations to control pork imports from Vietnam. The MoIT has coordinated with the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD) to meet China’s requirements. The Chinese side will send a delegation to Vietnam to work with the MoIT and the MARD, as well as major livestock breeding and veterinary quarantine facilities.
However, Deputy Minister of Industry and Trade Do Thang Hai said, along with ensuring product quality, Vietnam should negotiate with China to promote the export of Vietnamese agricultural, forest and aquatic products via official trade channels to this market.
The MoIT has asked the MARD to negotiate with relevant authorities from countries that have signed free trade agreements with Vietnam to promote the export of agricultural products to these markets.
Furthermore, the MoIT has coordinated with other authorities and units to provide early warnings that enable businesses to take the initiative in coping with trade defense measures. The ministry has also provided businesses with guidance to cope with lawsuits initiated by foreign countries. Institutional reforms have been promoted to improve the legal framework for export activities.
Associate Professor, Dr. Pham Tat Thang, senior MoIT researcher:
It is necessary to provide businesses with greater support by reducing lending interest rates and assisting startups. The linkages between domestic and foreign invested companies should be tightened to enable Vietnamese business involvement in the supply chains of foreign invested companies in order to enhance their competitiveness.