Việt Nam exported US$281.5 billion in goods and services in 2020, a 6.5 per cent year-on-year increase. — Photo vtv.vn
HÀ NỘI — Việt Nam exported US$281.5 billion in goods and services in 2020, a 6.5 per cent year-on-year increase while maintaining of a positive trade balance of over $19 billion, the Ministry of Trade and Industry said in a year-end conference held on Thursday in Hà Nội.
It was accomplished against the backdrop of a COVID-19 pandemic wreaking havoc on the world's economy. Despite unprecedented challenges, the country's industrial sector reported a 3.36 per cent growth rate, especially the processing and manufacturing industry, a critical driver of economic growth this year, at 5.82 per cent.
It was the result of a strong effort by trade agencies to help business and localities adapt and overcome adverse effects caused by the pandemic including seeking out new markets and boosting domestic market demand for Vietnamese products.
Meanwhile, the ministry sought to ensure market stability and control over prices for vital commodities, especially in response to numerous natural disasters that hit the country in 2020.
Some 880 business requirements were removed last year. In addition, 295 administrative procedures were made available online through the national public service portal.
Speaking at the conference, Prime Minister Nguyễn Xuân Phúc called for a stronger innovation effort with the business sector leading in the front to help improve the country's ability to compete.
Prime Minister Nguyễn Xuân Phúc gives a speech at a year-end conference by the Ministry of Trade and Industry in Hà Nội. — VNA/VNS Photo Thống Nhất
On the topic of the Việt Nam-US trade relationship, the PM reaffirmed the Government of Việt Nam's position and willingness to balance trade with the US and to combat origin fraud. Việt Nam stays committed to joint action plans to ensure trade between the two countries remains harmonious and sustainable. He also reiterated Việt Nam's focus in monetary policy is to control inflation and stabilise the macroeconomic environment and not to create unfair competitive advantages in trade.
Global integration remained a high-priority in the country's trade policy with major trade deals signed including the European Union–Vietnam Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA), the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) and the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP).
In 2021, the ministry's main objectives are pushing for administrative reforms and improving the business environment by cutting down hurdles and barriers for businesses. It will also continue to serve the Government in its advisory role in policy-making and socio-economic development, said industry and trade minister Trần Tuấn Anh at the conference.
The minister urged his ministry and Governmental agencies to put businesses at the centre of their policies, stressing the growth and satisfaction of the business sector should be the focus of their reforms and operations. He also called for faster digitalisation and further application of IT to speed up the country's effort in building a digital economy and e-Government. — VNS