VIETNAM recorded a trade surplus of approximately US$1.08 billion in the first two months of this year, mainly fuelled by foreign-invested businesses, which saw a surplus of $4.76 billion.
Meanwhile, the domestic-invested sector experienced a trade deficit of $3.68 billion in the January-February period, reported the General Statistics Office (GSO) on Wednesday.
During the reviewed period, the country’s export turnover jumped 23 per cent year-on-year to $33.62 billion while its imports stood at $32.54 billion, up 15.3 per cent year-on-year.
Export revenue of the domestic-invested sector experienced a positive increase of 26 per cent to $9.66 billion, while that of the foreign-invested sector rose 22 per cent to $23.96 billion compared with the same period last year.
In first two months, the domestic-invested sector imported $13.34 billion worth of goods, up 16.4 per cent and imports of the foreign-invested sector reached $19.20 billion, up 15 per cent.
Major export products posting encouraging export earnings in two months were mobile phones and components, which were valued at $6.6 billion, up 42 per cent; garment-textile products ($4.3 billion, up 22.3 per cent); computers, electronic devices and components ($4 billion, up 19.2 per cent); and footwear ($2.3 billion, up 12 per cent).
Others included machinery, equipment and parts ($2.1 billion, up 20 per cent); wood and wooden goods ($1.3 billion, up 20.1 per cent); modes of transport and their components ($1.3 billion, up 19 per cent); and seafood ($1.1 billion, up 21 per cent), as well as fruits and vegetables ($604 million, up 44 per cent) and rice ($413 million, up 32 per cent).
Turnover declines, however, were seen in several staples such as crude oil with $395 million, down 13 per cent, and pepper with $117 million, down 23 per cent, GSO noted.
In the first two months, China passed the United States to become Vietnam’s largest import market, with a total turnover of $6.2 billion, surging 65 per cent against the same period last year. The United States ranked second, with $6 billion, a year-on-year rise of 14 per cent.
China, meanwhile, was also Vietnam’s largest supplier of goods in the period. Vietnam imported $9.4 billion worth of products from this neighbouring country, up 25 per cent compared with last year’s corresponding period. The reviewed turnover was much higher than that from the United States, the European Union and Japan, with respective values of $1.4 billion, $1.8 billion and $2.5 billion.
According to the Ministry of Industry and Trade (MoIT), global trade is predicted to grow by 3.9 per cent in 2018, and this is expected to help Viet Nam’s trade growth.
The MoIT will work to devise measures to improve national competitiveness, thus creating a foundation for sustainable exports.
Efforts made by the Government to promote administrative reform, simplify investment procedures and support start-ups are expected to create more commodities for export, especially in terms of processing and manufacturing, and heavy industry.