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HÀ NỘI – Việt Nam will continue running a trade deficit in 2016 that will be under 5 per cent of total export revenue, the Ministry of Industry and Trade (MoIT) has forecast.
Director General of the MoIT’s Planning Department Vũ Bá Phú said at the teleconference held in Hà Nội yesterday that the country recorded a trade deficit of about US$400 million in May.
Although there was a trade surplus equivalent to 2 per cent of total export value in the first five months, demand for imported machinery and materials for infrastructure building is still high.
There is also a growing need for industrial equipment imports to expand production and optimise opportunities brought about by many free trade agreements the country has joined.
In the first five months of the year, Việt Nam posted a trade surplus of $1.36 billion as a result of some $67.7 billion in exports (up 6.6 per cent year on year) and $66.3 billion in imports (down 0.9 per cent year on year).
Notably, overseas agro-forestry-fishery shipments, during the five months, rose by $818 million or 10.1 per cent from a year earlier, compared to a 10-per cent decline in the same period last year.
China remained the biggest exporter of goods to Việt Nam during the five months, posting a turnover of $19.2 billion, dropping by 2.9 per cent annually.
Việt Nam mainly imported machines, equipment, mobile phones, computers, fabrics, iron and steel from China.
Việt Nam’s exports to China hit $5.8 billion in the first five months of 2016, an increase of 16.5 per cent year on year.
Việt Nam expects to ship about $20 billion worth of commodities to China and spend $48 billion on imports from the partner this year. Its trade deficit with China would total $28 billion, 13.6 per cent lower than last year’s $32.4 billion.
The United States continued to be Việt Nam’s biggest buyer, importing $14.6 billion worth of commodities, up 14.9 per cent compared to the same period last year. It was followed by the European Union with $13.3 billion in imports, up 11 per cent.
To attain an export growth rate of 10 per cent this year as targeted by the National Assembly, the ministry should devise measures for tackling business obstacles and improving production capacity, a minister, Trần Tuấn Anh said. – VNS