Vietnam posted a positive trade surplus of over 1 billion USD with ten countries in the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) seven months after the trade deal came into effect, according to a report by the General Department of Vietnam Customs.
Vietnam reported a 1.8 billion USD trade surplus during the first seven months of 2019 with exports to CPTPP economies making up over half of the figure (Photo: cafef.vn)
The country’s export turnover with CPTPP countries amounted to 15.4 percent of Vietnam’s total figure. CPTPP economies accounted for six of the 27 export markets with export value exceeding 1 billion USD, a sizable contribution in comparison to other FTA deals the country has signed.
While appearing modest at 7.5 percent, Vietnam’s export turnover growth was accompanied with a trade surplus with CPTPP economies, in stark contrast to the large deficit the country experienced when trade deals took effect with China in 1991, Thailand in 1995 and the Republic of Korea in 2018.
Exports to markets such as Japan, Canada and Mexico reported significant gains compared to the same period last year with Japan topping the chart at 1.01 billion USD, Canada at 546 million USD and Mexico at 290 million USD. At the same time, imports from Mexico decreased by 659 million USD, Singapore by 490 million USD and Malaysia by 219 million USD. It has helped the country turn a positive trade balance even posting a trade surplus with Japan for the very first time.
The figures indicated Vietnamese businesses were taking advantage of lowered tariffs and trade opportunities that come with the trade deal. Stronger demand for Vietnamese agricultural products from CPTPP economies was expected to help Vietnamese exporters to offset some of the adverse effects caused by China’s recent policy to reduce imports in the future.
On the other hand, measures must be taken to further boost the country’s exports as Vietnam saw a decline in exports to markets such as Australia and Malaysia and growing trade deficits with Singapore, Brunei and New Zealand.
The CPTPP, one of the largest trade deals the world has ever seen, covering a combined GDP of 13.5 trillion USD and free market of 500 million people, took effect in January with Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore and Vietnam as signatories.