|Workers produce shoes at Quang Nam Shoes and Leather Co. — VNA/VNS Photo Hong Ky
HA NOI (VNS)— Viet Nam saw a slight recovery in industrial production with the return of a US$1 billion trade deficit in April, according to a report from the Ministry of Industry and Trade yesterday.
Statistics showed the industrial production index in April increased by 5.8 per cent over the same month last year and the index of the four-month period rose 5 per cent over the same period last year.
The figures reflected signs of recovery in industrial production and that enterprises were more confident about the economy this year, the ministry said.
However, in the first three months, consumption was estimated to have increased only 4 per cent over the same period last year, proving that the purchasing power in the domestic market had not improved much.
The country was reported to have run a trade deficit of $1 billion in April and $722 million in the first four months of this year.
According to the ministry, the trade deficit last month was attributed to the low growth of exports, especially the decline in the export value of agricultural, forestry and seafood products.
The ministry's report revealed that export turnover in April decreased 12.1 per cent over March, reaching $9.7 billion, while imports also dropped by 7.3 per cent to $10.7 billion.
Nguyen Tien Vy, director of the Planning Department, said that in April, many enterprises enhanced imports of raw materials for their production, resulting in a trade deficit, which could be a sign of the domestic production recovery.
For the four-month period, export turnover was estimated to total $39.46 billion, representing a rise of 16.9 per cent over the same period last year, and the import turnover was nearly $40.19 billion, 18 per cent higher.
The foreign direct investment (FDI) sector accounted for around 65 per cent of the country's total export turnover and 71.5 per cent of the import turnover.
Regarding power supply, Dang Huy Cuong, director of the Electricity Regulatory Department, said that there would be enough power for production and daily life this month, citing Electricity of Viet Nam's plan to generate 11.8 billion kWh.
The Market Watch Department said the ministry would enhance market management to prevent the flow of smuggled or low-quality products into the country to product consumers.
Inspection focus would be placed on price management, food hygiene and safety as well as the quality of products such as milk, helmets and electric bicycles.
In the first four month of this year, the market watch handled more than 6,545 violations which were mainly related to smuggling, selling of fake and low-quality products and price violations, and collected total fines of more than VND18 billion ($857.200).
Regarding the refinery project in Nhon Hoi Economic Zone, worth $27 billion, Deputy Minister Ho Thi Kim Thoa, at yesterday's press conference, said the ministry's viewpoint was to support the project.
She said more investment in oil refining was needed because Viet Nam had only one oil refinery. However, there were still a lot of work to do for the feasibility of the project, she said.
The ministry also said that investment projects would be put under close supervision, especially key projects making slow progress, and those which were to be finished this year would be hurried up. — VNS