Vietnam’s exports increase 6.6% in first five months

NDO/VNA - Vietnam generated more than US$67.7 billion from exports in the first five months of this year, surging 6.6% against the same period last year, according to the General Statistics Office (GSO).

Of the sum, domestic enterprises contributed over US$19.44 billion, up 3.9% year-on-year, while the remainder of more than US$48.26 billion came from foreign-invested firms, up 7.7% year-on-year.

Key export products recording a strong increase in export value in the reviewed period included vegetables and fruit, growing 53.7% to US$1 billion; telephones and their components, up 20.6% to US$14.4 billion; machines and equipment, with a rise of 16.2% to US$3.6 billion; and handbags, hats and umbrellas, up 12.1% to US$1.3 billion.

Other products with encouraging export growth were rice, up 8.4%; electronics, computer and parts, up 5.4%; footwear, up 6%; and seafood, up 5.6%.

But the first five months saw significant reductions in export turnover of some major export items, such as crude oil, slumping 49.2% to US$883 million; steel and iron, down 10.2% to US$649 million; and cassava, down 22.7%.

The GSO also reported that from January to May, the value of national imports modestly decreased by 1% year-on-year to above US$66.34 billion, with US$27.2 billion from domestic enterprises and US$39.1 billion from foreign businesses.

That resulted in a trade surplus of US$1.36 billion in five months, lower than the US$1.46 billion recorded during the same period last year.

The office said China remained Vietnam’s largest import market. During the period, Vietnam paid US$19.2 billion for imports from China - five and six times higher than figures from the EU and the US, respectively.

Vietnam’s five-month import value from this neighbouring nation also doubled that from ASEAN countries and tripled that from Japan.

Vietnam has set the twin goals of fetching a total of US$178 billion from exports by year-end, up 10% from a year ago, and controlling the trade deficit at 5%.

Experts forecast that this will not prove a very difficult target, as export doors will be more open after some of the bilateral and multilateral free trade agreements recently signed by Vietnam take effect.