In the first quarter of this year, imports from China jumped by 18.9% to nearly US$12.7 billion against the same period last year, making up 27.3% of the country’s total imports, according to preliminary statistics from the General Department of Vietnam Customs.
It shows a sharp increase after a standstill. In March alone, Vietnam businesses spent US$5.1 billion on importing products from China. The figure was much higher than that of imports from Japan which was just US$3.7 billion.
Five import products in the first quarter, each with a value of more than US$1 billion, were machines, equipment and tools (US$2.5 billion), telephones and components (US$1.6 billion), computer, electronics and components (US$1.6 billion), fabrics (US$1.2 billion) and steel (US$1.2 billion).
According to experts, the trade deficit was resulted from China’s taking full advantages of the ASEAN - China free trade agreement (ACFTA) and the Vietnam-China border trade agreement. Meanwhile, Chinese contractors have imported a huge volume of machines and equipment after winning bids to implement investment projects in Vietnam.
Thus, it will be very difficult to control import activities and trade deficit with China without a breakthrough solution.