HCMC – Vietnam’s exports of phones and phone parts were heavily impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic last year, falling 0.4% compared with 2019 to US$51.18 billion, according to the General Department of Vietnam Customs.
Although phones and phone parts remain the country’s leading export commodity, this is the first time in 10 years that it has posted negative growth.
Vietnam’s export of phones and phone parts to China surged 48.8% year-on-year to US$12.34 billion, making China its biggest importer.
Meanwhile, the exports of these products to the European Union fell 18.6% year-on-year to US$10.06 billion, those to the United States fell 1.2% to US$8.79 billion and to South Korea declined 11% to US$4.58 billion.
Over the past 10 years, phones and phone parts were one of the fastest growing export items. Particularly, the exports of phones and phone parts in 2011 soared 178.3% compared with 2010.
With steady and strong growth, phones and phone parts have surpassed traditional export commodities such as textiles and footwear to become the country’s largest export commodity. Over the past several years, they accounted for approximately 20% of the country’s total exports.
However, the export of phones and phone parts has slowed down recently. In 2019, it grew only 4.4% year-on-year. The growth rate fell by nearly a half compared with 2018, when the exports of these products grew 8.4%.
Most phones and phone parts exported from Vietnam are made by foreign invested companies, especially Samsung Electronics’ mobile phone factories in Bac Ninh and Thai Nguyen provinces.
According to the South Korean conglomerate, the two factories in Bac Ninh and Thai Nguyen are its largest and most modern mobile phone factories in the world. Some 60% of the Samsung mobile phones sold worldwide are made or assembled in Vietnam.
Compared with other key export commodities, the export of phones and phone parts has slowed down significantly.
Exports of computers and electronic products, Vietnam’s second biggest export commodity, rose 24.1% compared with 2019 to US$44.58 billion in 2020.
Vietnam exported computers and electronic products worth US$11.09 billion to China last year, increasing 16% year-on-year. The exports of these products to the United States, the EU and Hong Kong surged 71.7%, 28.7% and 38.2% to US$10.39 billion, US$6.51 billion and US$4.19 billion, respectively.
Data of the General Department of Vietnam Customs showed that last year, the country’s total exports increased 7% year-on-year, equivalent to US$18.39 billion, to reach US$282.75 billion.
Exports of machines and tools, wood and wooden products and steel and iron in 2020 rose 48.6%, 16.2% and 25.1% compared with the previous year, respectively.
In contrast, the exports of textiles and garments, footwear and petroleum dropped 9.2%, 8.3% and 51.2% year-on-year, respectively.
By Le Hoang