|Suckling pigs are processed for export at Hoa Mai Co in the central province of Thanh Hoa. Viet Nam's exports in the first 15 days of this year are up more than US$500 million from the same period last year. — VNA/VNS Photo Dinh Hue
HA NOI (VNS) — Viet Nam's exports in the first 15 days of this year are up more than US$500 million from the same period last year.
The General Department of Customs said exports surged 10.1 per cent from the previous year to $5.55 billion, while imports increased 15.6 per cent to $5.51 billion.
Textile and garment exports topped the list, rising $201 million. Footwear and seafood exports followed, rising $91 million and $84 million, respectively.
Compared with the same period last year, the country spent more on importing equipment and components (up $237 million) and fabrics (up $48 million).
Foreign-invested firms contributed $3.39 billion, accounting for more than 61 per cent of the country's total exports by value. Moreover, companies spent $3.19 billion on imports, which represented 58 per cent of the country's total imports by value.
The Ministry of Industry and Trade forecast that this year's exports will increase 10 per cent to $145 billion thanks to an expansion into new markets and greater opportunities from new trade deals, such as the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) and the Viet Nam-EU free trade agreement.
In a recent report, HSBC Bank also anticipated a year of robust growth for export-oriented firms because of improving global conditions and the possible conclusion of trade negotiations.
The report added that improved demand from the European Union (EU) and the United States (US) would lift Viet Nam's exports in 2014 by 20 per cent, higher than the growth rate of 15.4 per cent seen in 2013.
With a relatively high exposure to the US market (18 per cent of total exports head to the US) and the EU (14 per cent of total exports), Viet Nam is poised to benefit from improving Western demand, the report noted. — vns