Bright spots in four-month economic picture

Five bright spots in import-export activities

The reviewed period saw the trade balance continue to record a surplus of US$9 billion. The indexes can therefore be considered to have enjoyed very positive growth during the reviewed period, clearly indicating the recovery trend of import and export activities.

First, both the foreign-invested enterprise sector and the wholly domestic-owned enterprise sector recorded positive growth in relation to export turnover.

Among them, the group of domestic enterprises posted a higher growth rate, up 22.8% over the same period from last year, higher than the growth rate of 12.4% of the group of foreign-invested enterprises.

Second, agricultural and aquatic exports achieved a high growth rate of 25.7% on-year. Of this, seafood reached US$2.7 billion with an increase of 5.8%, fruit and vegetables grossed US$1.9 billion, up 38.1%; and coffee raked in US$2.5 billion, a rise of 53.4%. In addition, rice products only increased by 9.5% in volume, although the turnover marked an increase of 33.6%, thereby reflecting a favourable price level occurring in the market.

Agricultural exports, which can be seen as a strong group of domestic businesses, contributed to the positive growth of this sector.

Thirdly, key export industrial products continued to recover well. Wood and wood products reached US$4.9 billion, up 25%; garments and textiles stood at US$10.4 billion, up 6.7%; footwear with US$6.6 billion, up 7.2%; iron and steel of all kinds with US$3.2 billion, up 28.1%; computers, electronic products, and components with US$21.5 billion, up 33.9%; and phones and components recorded US$18.1 billion, an increase of 5%.

Fourthly, exports to the majority of market areas grew well, especially those that have signed Free Trade Agreements (FTAs) with the nation. This includes exports to ASEAN which saw an increase of 10.5%, exports to Japan rose by 3.3%, the Republic of Korea (RoK) by 8.6%, the EU by 15.1%, and Australia by 22.6%.

Over the past year the country also upgraded its comprehensive strategic partnership with two major partners, China and the United States, with trade being considered an important pillar. Exports to China in the first four months of the year reached US$17 billion to mark a rise of 12.8%, whilst those to the US reached US$34.7 billion with an increase of 21.2%.

Finally, imports met production needs with the proportion of imported goods continuing to remain high at 88.8% in relation to total import turnover.

Support from FTAs

These results have been accumulated over a long period of time, with solutions to boost export activities, fast-track the implementation of FTAs, and remove difficulties for businesses in the context of an ever-changing globally situation witnessing complex and unpredictable developments.

In particular, the exploitation of FTAs in recent times has captured the attention from the MoIT and duly obtained positive results.

Regarding solutions aimed at fully taking advantage of FTAs, the MoIT has been diversifying forms of organising widespread information about the incentives of FTAs, including through the Internet and social networks. This is in addition to co-ordinating with relevant agencies alongside provinces and cities to hold seminars to disseminate how to make the most of market opening opportunities aimed at boosting exports and improving the efficiency of exporting Vietnamese goods to the markets which have signed FTAs with the nation.

Moreover, other efforts include deploying and operating the Certificate of Origin issuance system via the Internet and the Self-Certification of Origin mechanism; reviewing and simplifying the C/O issuance process; and applying electronic C/O declaration.

By removing difficulties faced by businesses and accelerating the use of FTAs, the Ministry has been carrying out a number of other export promotion solutions, with a particular focus on supporting local businesses in engaging in trade promotion activities and enhancing trade links between suppliers and purchasers, as well as international distributors and both direct and online foreign importers.

The MoIT has also co-ordinated efforts with the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in negotiations aimed at opening export markets, especially for fruit and crop products.

It has therefore directed Vietnamese Trade offices abroad to work to promote market research, connect supply and demand, and intensify trade and exports activities.

Export promotion and the utilisation of FTAs in recent times has achieved positive results. Of which, five-month exports are predicted to have reached an estimated US$156.5 billion, representing an annual rise of 15% whilst exports to partner markets in FTAs have all recovered well.

Moving forward, the MoIT will continue to proactively collaborate with ministries and sectors as part of efforts to speed up negotiations and sign new FTAs with other potential partners, support businesses to maximise opportunities in FTAs, and regularly exchange and grasp both difficulties and obstacles in each export industry in order to promptly find solutions to further promote export activities.

Source: VOV