HA NOI — With rising export value expected at US$9 billion in February, Viet Nam's trade balance is likely to fall into deficit, according to the General Statistics Office.
|Workers produce compact florescent lamps for export at Rang Dong Light Source & Vacuum Flask JS Co in Ha Noi. In the first two months of the year, Viet Nam earned $15.29 billion from exports.—VNA/VNS Photo Tran Viet.
In January, the trade surplus was about $167 million, with the trade deficit coming to about $800 million in February. Consequently, the deficit in the first two months of this year came to around $628 million.
In these first two months, Viet Nam earned $15.29 billion from exports, a year-on-year increase of 24.8 per cent, but it spent more than $15.92 billion on imports, up 11.8 per cent against the same period last year.
Le Minh Thuy, director of the GSO's Trade Department, partly attributed the rising import value to the fact that foreign-invested firms had bolstered imports of raw materials, accessories and equipment to serve exports.
International companies imported over $8.2 billion in the first two months, a year-on-year increase of 36.8 per cent. However, lower imports by local firms partly helped ease the trade deficit. The import value of the local economic sector came to $7.69 billion, down 6.4 per cent from one year ago.
The trade deficit can also be blamed for a strong rise in the import of certain commodities such as electronic and computer spare parts and accessories. Seafood sector imports also rose by nearly 84 per cent.
The import value on milk and dairy products posted an increase of 69 per cent while the revenue on imported wood and wooden products went up by 65 per cent.
The GSO attributed the price hike of imported commodities as a factor in the upped import value.
Although foreign investors spent more on imports, they still took the leading role in export turnover with a total value of $9.61 billion, a year-on-year increase of 41.5 per cent.
The exports of local firms reflected a more modest growth rate of 4 per cent and a combined revenue of $5.68 billion.
Some sectors experienced good growth rates including rubber, up 56 per cent, textiles and garments, up 25 per cent and ceramics, up 26 per cent.
The capital city hit an export value of $1.34 billion during the first two months of 2012, a rise of 4.1 per cent over the same period last year.
The city's Department of Statistics reported that of the commodities, temporarily imported and re-exported petrol posted the highest growth to garner $269 million. It was followed by computer spare parts and peripheral devices, with $245.1 million according to economic experts, the positive sign highlights business efforts to seek new markets in the context of capital shortage, high material prices, and a scarcity of new contracts.
This also reflects the city's efforts in creating favourable conditions for local businesses to attend trade promotion programmes and exchange views with one another.
Experts also suggested local businesses to improve product quality as their exports to the EU and Asian markets remain high despite difficulties. — VNS