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Vietnam's exports to U.S. at record high
By Tam An
Monday,  Sep 30, 2019,17:44 (GMT+7)

Vietnam's exports to U.S. at record high

By Tam An

An employee checks a jacket at a textile and garment factory. Vietnam exported US$44.9 billion worth of goods to the United States in the first nine months of 2019 – PHOTO: VAN LOI

HCMC – Vietnam exported US$44.9 billion worth of goods to the United States, its largest buyer, in the first nine months of 2019, making up 23.1% of the total export revenue and setting a new record for the country.

The export revenue over the nine-month period this year is nearly equal to the figure in all of 2018, at US$47.5 billion, according to statistics from the General Statistics Office.

Statistics indicate that the revenue from shipments bound for the United States between January and September rose by 28.2% year-on-year, marking the highest rise among the increases seen on Vietnam’s import markets, including Japan at 10%, South Korea at 8.1% and the ASEAN market at 4.7%.

Compared with the figure seen in the year to August, the revenue from exports to the United States grew an additional US$8.3 billion. The upward trend of shipments to the United States has emerged since April last year. 

Exports to the United States were textiles and garments, phones and phone parts, handbags, purses and woodwork, among other items.

Meanwhile, Vietnam spent US$10.7 billion importing goods from the United States over the first nine months of 2019, up 12.6% year-on-year.

Joseph Incalcaterra, chief economist for ASEAN markets at HSBC, told a recent conference that Southeast Asian countries are seeking to raise their share in the U.S. market, noting that Vietnam has topped the list for this trend.

HSBC also forecast that revenue from exports to the United States in 2019 will exceed US$55 billion, cementing the market’s position as Vietnam’s largest importer.

Some have attributed Vietnam's stronger exports to the ongoing Sino-U.S. trade dispute.

Many economic experts have repeatedly pointed out that Vietnamese firms have not really benefited from the rise in exports to the United States as most of the goods shipped to America were produced by foreign-invested companies.

The General Statistics Office stated in its report on the January-September socioeconomic performance that foreign direct investment (FDI) firms still dominated goods shipments to foreign markets.

Phones and phone parts, electronics and components, footwear and textiles exported by FDI enterprises accounted for 96.6%, 90.1%, 76.3% and 59%, respectively.

Also, statistics show that in the year to September, the country’s export revenue amounted to an estimated US$194.3 billion, up 8.2% year-on-year. FDI firms earned higher export revenue than local exporters, accounting for 69.3% of the country’s total export turnover.

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