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Trade surplus $284m, after 20 years in deficit

Update: December, 24/2012 - 10:18


Toys are produced at a company in Chau Son Industrial Zone in northern Ha Nam Province for export to Japan and the US. Viet Nam has achieved a trade surplus of $284 million this year after 20 years of running in a deficit. — VNA/VNS Photo Danh Lam
HA NOI (VNS)— Viet Nam had achieved a trade surplus of US$284 million this year after 20 years of running in a deficit, according to the General Statistics Office (GSO).

Export turnover for the year totalled $114.631 billion, an increase of 18.3 per cent over last year while import revenue reached $114.347 billion, representing a rise of 7.1 per cent.

The previous trade surplus recorded was in 1992 at $100 million.

According to director of the GSO's Trade Department Le Thi Minh Thuy, the trade surplus was attributed to the high growth rate of exports which nearly doubled the goal set by the National Assembly, while import growth rate was three times lower.

Viet Nam managed to maintain exports to traditional markets such as Europe, even though the global economy was faltering.

The European market became the leading export market for Viet Nam this year with turnover of $20.3 billion, up 22.5 per cent over last year, followed by the US ($19.6 billion, up 15.6 per cent), ASEAN markets ($17.2 billion, up 27.1 per cent), and Japan ($13 billion, up 21.4 per cent).

Statistics also showed that foreign direct investment (FDI) saw high growth to reach $72.298 billion in export revenue, accounting for more than 63 per cent of the country's total figure and increasing by 31.2 per cent over last year, while export value from the domestic sector was $42.333 billion, up only 1.32 per cent.

There were 19 out of 29 export commodities of Viet Nam that reported revenues ranging from $1.5 billion to more than $15 billion, including garments and textiles ($15.35 billion, up 7.1 per cent), phones and components ($12.644 billion, up 97.7 per cent), computers and electronics ($7.882 billion, up 69.1 per cent), and crude oil ($8.4 billion, up 15.9 per cent).

Some products saw declining exports, such as rubber (down 12.6% in value), and coal (down 22.8 per cent).

Imports steadied with a low growth rate of 7.1 per cent, with 15 out of 30 import commodities seeing declines compared with last year such as automobiles (down 32.5 per cent), and animal and vegetable oil (down 21.9 per cent).

Petrol and oil imports fell the furthest to $8.894 billion and 9.119 million tonnes, decreasing 10 per cent and 14.6 per cent, respectively.

Liquefied petroleum gas, rubber and fertilisers were among those to report decreases in imports, while imports of electronic products, computers and components rose 66.8 per cent to reach turnover of $13.98 billion, vehicles 43.9 per cent and fabric 4.7 per cent.

Thuy said that the low growth of imports reflected the stagnation of domestic production.

Total imports of the domestic sector reached $54.9 billion, a decline of 6.7 per cent over last year, while the FDI sector totalled $60.338 billion, an increase of 23.5 per cent.

China remained Viet Nam's biggest import market, with turnover of $28.9 billion compared to export of $12.2 billion. — VNS

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