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Trade surplus hits record high of US$9.94 billion
The Saigon Times Daily
Friday,  Dec 27, 2019,09:52 (GMT+7)

Trade surplus hits record high of US$9.94 billion

The Saigon Times Daily

A container vessel is heading to Chu Lai Port in Quang Nam Province. Vietnam’s trade surplus hits an all-time high of US$9.94 billion in 2019 - PHOTO: VNA

HCMC – Vietnam’s trade surplus in 2019 reached an all-time high of US$9.94 billion, and the country enjoyed a trade surplus for the fourth consecutive year.

The impressive result has significantly contributed to the country’s gross domestic product and stabilized the macroeconomy, news site Vietnamplus reported.

Despite a decline in global demand, Vietnam maintained its robust export growth this year. Specifically, the country’s total export revenues amounted to US$264 billion, up 8% year-on-year, said Cao Quoc Hung, Deputy Minister of Industry and Trade.

The largest export earner was processed products, contributing nearly US$222.2 billion, or 84.3%, to total export revenues.

Among 34 key processed product groups, 26 of them reported export turnovers of over US$1 billion each, including eight groups with export earnings of over US$5 billion each. There were three categories of merchandise with export revenues of more than US$30 billion each, including phones and accessories (over US$51.8 billion); computers, electronic products and accessories (nearly US$36 billion); and textiles and garments (US$32.6 billion).

According to Deputy Minister Hung, the record trade surplus was a result of policies in trade, investment and administrative reform of the Government’s and relevant ministries and agencies, which have created favorable conditions for enterprises to conduct import-export activities and overcome obstacles in importing markets.

Since early this year, Minister of Industry and Trade Tran Tuan Anh has directed agencies to abolish unreasonable business conditions and administrative procedures to assist in the export of goods and help enterprises benefit from free trade agreements that Vietnam has signed.

Of note, when the ministry has learned about trade remedies in importing markets, it has promptly informed local enterprises and sought solutions in removing technical and trade barriers in these markets.

The ministry has also coordinated with other ministries, agencies and localities to carry out trade promotion programs to support enterprises in expanding markets and in integrating into the international market.

All markets that Vietnam has signed free trade agreements with have reported strong growth, including South Korea, 8.3%, Japan, 7.7%, Russia, 10%, and New Zealand, 9.7%.

Tran Thanh Hai, deputy director of the Import-Export Department under the Ministry of Industry and Trade, said the export structure has positively shifted with a reduction in the volume of raw products and an increase in the volume of processed goods, which is in line with the import and export strategy for the 2011-2020 period, with a vision to 2030, and has created favorable conditions for local goods to enter global production and distribution chains.

Hai also pointed out that domestic enterprises have outpaced foreign-invested firms in export growth.

This year, export revenues from farm produce fell, although many markets have cut import duties on Vietnamese products. The cause for the decline was that some local products have yet to meet quality and food safety requirements in these markets.

According to the Minister of Industry and Trade, 2020 will be a difficult year for trade activities, and the ministry has set the target to grow the import-export turnover by 7%-8% next year, while the trade deficit would be kept at less than 2% of total export revenues.

Therefore, the ministry’s major mission is to continue improving the business environment to support the country’s cooperation with partners and increase production capacity.

The ministry will also focus on reforming policies and the legal system.

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