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Vietnam records 1 billion USD trade surplus in 7 months

The latest preliminary statistic released by General Department of Customs on August 10 showed that the total import and export turnover in the second half of July (16 – 31/7) reaches US$ 30.4 billion, a slight decrease, at 0.6% (corresponding to US$ 189 million) compared to the first half.

The results achieved in the second half of July brought Vietnam total import-export turnover in the first 7 months to US$ 433.6 billion, increased 15.3% (at US$ 57.45 billion) over the same period last year.

In the second half, commodities trade balance had a surplus of US$ 2.12 billion. Generally, in 7 months, Vietnam’s trade surplus is US$ 1.08 billion. Exports reached US$ 16.26 billion, increased 13.8% (at US$ 1.97 billion) compared to the first half of July.

Categories of sharp increase include phones and components by US$ 640 million, equivalent to 34.3%; computers, electronic products and components by US$ 618 million, at 37.2%; machinery, equipment, tools and spare parts by US$ 410 million, at 22.3%; iron and steel of all kinds by US$ 154 million, at 62.8%, etc.

By late July, total export turnover reached US$ 217.34 billion, increased 16.6%, equivalent to US$ 30.92 billion, over the same period in 2021. Imports in the second half reached US$ 14.14 billion, decreased 13.2% (at US$ 2.16 billion) compared to the first half.

Categories in sharp decrease include computers, electronic products and components by US$ 799 million, equivalent to 20.8%; machinery, equipment, tools and spare parts by US$ 197 million, at 9.4%; petroleum by US$ 179 million, at 38.8%, etc. Thus, in the first 7 months, total import turnover reached US$ 216.26 billion, increased 14% (corresponding to US$ 26.53 billion) over the same period in 2021.

7 localities in the export category of “10-billion-dollar”

Compared to the same period in 2021, Bac Giang province was added in the ranking of export turnover US$ 10 billion upward with a turnover of US$ 11.5 billion, increased 60% (equivalent to US$ 4.4 billion) over the same period last year.

It is known that in the first months of 2021, Bac Giang was the core of Covid-19 pandemic, so production and business including import and export suffered great impacts. In the first months of 2022, once the pandemic was basically under control, a remarkable recovery was made. According to Bac Giang Statistics Department, local manufacturing and processing industry grew by 53.36%.

In the remaining 6 localities, Ho Chi Minh City continued to keep its leading position with US$ 28.66 billion, increased 7.54%. Followed by Bac Ninh province with US$ 25 billion, increased 11.87%; Binh Duong US$ 21.1 billion, increased 3.5%; Thai Nguyen US$ 19.37 billion, increased 23.53%; Dong Nai US$ 15 billion, increased 9.77% and Hai Phong US$ 13.4 billion, increased 7%.

In the first 7 months, total export turnover reached US$ 217.34 billion, increased 16.6%, equivalent to US$ 30.92 billion compared to the same period in 2021. With US$ 134.03 billion, 7 key localities alone accounts for 61.67% of the total export turnover.

Export to FTA markets forecasted positive

Speaking at the seminar “Sustainable export development in the context of FTAs implementation” on 16/8, Mr. Le Hoang Tai, Deputy Director of Trade Promotion Department (Ministry of Industry and Trade) said, Vietnam economy has a large openness, having trade relations with 230 countries including a Free Trade Agreement (FTA) with 60 economies.

These FTAs have created favorable conditions for local enterprises to expand and access global markets, deeper connect and participate in global value chains and production networks. Major export markets of Vietnam can be mentioned, especially those with FTAs such as the United States, Canada, China, EU, ASEAN, Japan and Korea, etc.

“Exports to Canada in 2021 reached US$ 5.3 billion, increased 20.8% over the previous year; to Mexico US$ 4.6 billion, increased 44.5% and to Peru US$ 560 million, increased 84.4%. All these countries participated in the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPPTPP) with Vietnam”, said Mr. Tai.

Meanwhile, for EVFTA, exports to the EU market in 2021 reached US$ 40.1 billion, increased 14.2% over the previous year. For the UK market (Vietnam-United Kingdom FTA) in 2021, exports recorded an increase of 16.4%, reaching US$ 5.8 billion.

From the perspective of enterprises and industries, Ms. Phan Thi Thanh Xuan, Vice President and General Secretary of Vietnam Leather, Footwear and Handbag Association said, the industry currently ranks 2nd in terms of exports after China and stayed 3rd in terms of production after China and India.

In the first 6 months of 2022, export growth rate of the leather and footwear industry to key markets, especially those with FTAs maintained quite well. For example, with CPTPP market, export growth reached 10% while the EU market at 18%.

“It can be said that the advantages of FTAs have been well utilized by the footwear industry. FTAs are the driving force to overcome challenges of Covid-19 pandemic”, emphasized Ms. Xuan.

Mr. Tai said the pandemic is under control and the prospect of exporting to markets with FTAs continues to increase. Exports keep expected to be the bright spot of the economy, helping Vietnam deeper participate in the global supply chain.

The reason is that FTAs, especially new generation FTAs such as EVFTA, CPTPP and Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) will continue to open up tariff preferences, creating incentives to attract investment for production capacity enhancement, helping export enterprises become more internationally professional.

Furthermore, leaders of Trade Promotion Department gave analysis that many countries are deploying economic stimulus packages, promoting consumer demand, thereby increasing the import demand.

Economic expert Le Quoc Phuong acknowledged that Vietnam is one of the leading ASEAN countries in signing FTAs after Singapore. Currently, Vietnam has 15 FTAs including high-quality FTAs such as CPTTP, EVFTA, etc. covering major economies of the world.

Besides the positive effects, opening up opportunities to promote the export for Vietnam, Mr. Phuong noted, these FTAs also pose challenges for enterprises, creating great competitive pressure both domestically and globally. FTAs set many high standards on technical barriers while the potential and competitiveness of enterprises are still limited.

In addition, FTAs also require enterprises in terms of labor standards such as no child labor nor forced labor or intellectual property issues, etc. leading to enterprise costs and investment increases. “However, here also an opportunity to grow up and improve their competitiveness with foreign enterprises. They must have a development strategy, turning challenges into opportunities, otherwise it will affect export growth of enterprises in the coming time,” said Mr. Phuong.

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