September 21, 2018 21:31

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Export goes ahead to the destination

08:56 | 08/01/2018

VCN- Beyond the definition target of 6-7%, export of 2017 has set a new peak with the turnover of more than US$ 200 billion, up about 20% compared with 2016. With the import value estimated at US$ 209-210 billion, the total export-import turnover of Vietnam in 2017 has set a new peak, reaching the milestone of US$ 400 billion. This is an important milestone that will be a stable basis to help Vietnam's trade activity move into the important transitional year of 2018. 

export goes ahead to the destination
Producing seafood for export at the Ca Mau Seafood Company. Photo: Nguyen Hue.

From the record number...

Looking back one year before 2016, the trade deficit happened when the export - one of the main motivation of GDP growth – was not as expected. The export failed to keep the target of 10% growth set by the Government because of the difficulties of the world economy in general. Vietnam's economy in particular had made many key sectors of Vietnam fall into difficulties, resulting in decreased orders… Therefore, the export growth target of 2017 was set up more cautiously, only 6-7%, or about US$ 188 billion.

Unexpectedly and contrary to the forecasts, the trade activities in 2017 was one of the best highlights of Vietnam's economy when the export growth reached the highest level in many years, and the imports were controlled and the trade balance produced quite a large surplus, according to the Ministry of Industry and Trade.

Reviewing the export process of 2017, the export turnover of the country in January and February increased over the same period but only around US$ 13-14 billion. It was easy to understand because it was the Lunar New Year, so the production of enterprises was low. However, the export of Vietnam began to break from March with surprising numbers.

For 5 consecutive months (from March to July), the export turnover stood at US$ 17 billion, with an average growth rate of over 18% compared with the same period last year. At that time, looking at the first 6 months of 2017, Mr. Tran Thanh Hai, Deputy Head of the Import-Export Bureau (the Ministry of Industry and Trade), said that the exports increased over 18% - this was a high increase over the same period of 2016 (up 5.9%) due to the increase in prices (mainly fuels and agricultural products) and in volume (the manufacturing, processing and mineral industries) and rose through the months.

It didn’t stop there, the export continued to a "new peak" with US$ 19.8 billion in August and up to US$ 20.3 billion in October. In November, the export even reduced slightly but still stuck to the milestone of US$ 20 billion (US$ 19.99 billion), up 21.5% over the same period - the highest growth so far, the total export turnover of the country reached US$ 194.47 billion. With this result, the export plan that the National Assembly assigned in 2017 has been implemented successfully by the Government, one month earlier than the deadline. In particular, Vietnam's export of goods in 2017 has reached the highest growth since 2011, with turnover estimated at US$ 212 billion.

... to the leading industries

To reach the above impressive numbers, there was the contribution of many industries, from processing industry to Vietnamese commodities with its own advantages including agricultural goods and fisheries. The largest contribution to the export turnover was still telephones of all kinds and components. In the past, when talking about the champion of export, people thought of textile, but from 2013, this position has belonged to the group of telephones and components with high growth of over 30%. Particularly, in October 2017, the export turnover of telephone and components was estimated at US$ 5 billion, up 76.4% over the same period last year. It was considered one of the months with the highest export turnover of this item in Vietnam previously to now. With high growth rates, the export turnover of all kinds of telephones and components was estimated at over US$ 45 billion in 2017, up more than 30%, accounting for 21% of total export turnover.

Following the telephones and components, the textiles and garments reached US$ 31 billion, an increase of 10.23 percent from 2016, after missing a target of US$ 30 billion by 2016. The main export markets were still the US, EU, and Japan... but the textile and garment export in 2017 had many advantages in terms of markets, orders, especially the signed free trade agreements step into the implementation phase that has created leverage for the textile and garment export to many markets such as Korea, Russia, China to grow more.

Besides telephones of all types and components, textiles, many other processing industries such as furniture and footwear also grew significantly, as predicted by Mr. Do Thang Hai, Deputy Minister of Industry and Trade: “The export of the last months of the year will increase for some industrial commodities with large export turnover in starting the growth cycle such as the textiles, footwear, furniture...”.

However, it is a mistake to ignore the contribution of agricultural and aquatic products to the overall export performance when this group accounted for more than 12% of the total export turnover. Plate of light in the group of agricultural and aquatic products included seafood, coffee, vegetables, rubber... especially rice. In 2016, the rice prices fell dramatically, so the authorities lowered the target continuously, but this year, the export of this item increased sharply by nearly 25% in value and 24.1% in volume in comparison with the same period last year, it was expected to reach 6 million tons, increase 1.1 - 1.2 million tons of rice compared to 2016. Vietnamese rice has been exported to 132 markets in the world, of which China has continued to be the largest market.

As for Vietnamese fruits and vegetables – like the Vietnamese symbol, there was a strong breakthrough when the exports in the first 11 months of 2017 exceeded the whole 2016 export turnover, reached US$ 3.16 billion, an increase of 43.2% compared to the same period last year. It is estimated that vegetable exports this year would set a new record, exceeding the milestone of US$ 3.6 billion and according to forecasts, by 2030, the Vietnamese turnover of fruits and vegetables would be nearly 2 times today, reaching US$ 7 billion.

Harmonize many factors

It can be said that the export activities of Vietnam have made fast and steady progress thanks to the significant improvement in many sectors. The export has been no longer dependent on the mineral resources, especially crude oil and coal… as in the early years of integration. Notably, the growth of the processing industry has been in line with the policy of reducing the export of raw materials, focusing on the processing industry to add value to the goods of the Government.

In order to get the above mentioned achievements, apart from favorable factors. For example, world trade has grown back to create favorable conditions for export activities such as the price level has tended to increase in the world market, including raw material items as well as the processed goods, the orders have been plentiful..., there are many other factors. Not only joining and signing the bilateral free trade agreements created a large and diversified market for the enterprises, but also the Government, ministries and branches have accelerated the administrative reform and simplified many procedures, streamlined the administrative apparatus, and actively facilitated the operation of enterprises. The reform effort by the Ministry of Industry and Trade has contributed a lot to removing difficulties for the business community, especially the import and export enterprises.

On the other hand, the Ministry of Industry and Trade has also strengthened the market information and measures to remove the obstacles of market barriers, especially the agricultural and fishery products; renovated the trade promotion in the direction of not only relying on the State funding but also promoting socialization and encouraging the exterior organizations to participate the trade promotion. The enterprises themselves have been active and initiated carrying out many trade promotion programs and promoting the production, improving the quality of products, so that, the competitiveness of the goods has been raised. Mr. Tran Thanh Hai added: "In the current protectionist trend, many countries are increasing the technical barriers for all products from Vietnam. Supporting the domestic enterprises to overcome the technical barriers, meeting standards, regulations or to assess the conformity is also important to help increase the export of goods”.

The combination of these solutions has created a beautiful export picture from which we continue to have hope for 2018.

At the fourth session of the National Assembly XIV, with the majority of deputies, the Resolution on the socio-economic development plan in 2018 was approved by the National Assembly offically. The Resolution proposed 12 socio-economic indicators to strive for 2018, of which the gross domestic product (GDP) would increase by 6.5-6.7%, total export turnover would increase 7-8%, the ratio of trade deficit to total export turnover would be less than 3%.
According to the Ministry of Industry and Trade, the import turnover decreased step by step because many corporations and large companies promoted the equipment imports for large projects in the first months of the year, it reduced pressure on the last months of the year. With the import turnover estimated at US$ 209-210 billion, the total export-import turnover of Vietnam in 2017 has set a new peak, reaching US$ 400 billion and a surplus of about US$ 3 billion.

By Phan Thu/ Binh Minh