Clothing production for export. (Photo: VNA)

Vietnam’s Ministry of Industry and Trade (MoIT) has been actively implementing various measures to boost exports and reduce imports, helping decrease the trade deficit.

The MoIT’s 2015 export and import goals, which were set by the National Assembly, are to increase the export value to 10 percent and keep the trade deficit at no more than five percent of the total import-export value.

As of September, Vietnam’s trade deficit had reached 3.9 billion USD or 3.2 percent of the export value, which was nearly 120 billion USD.

Decreased exports of major agricultural commodities such as coffee and rice were cited as reasons behind the trade deficit.

In the first nine months of 2015, Vietnam exported 961,000 tonnes of coffee worth 1.96 billion USD, reducing by 31.2 percent in volume and 32.2 percent in value from a year earlier.

Rice exports reduced 10.1 percent in volume and 15.7 percent in value.

A plunge in oil prices also contributed to the reduction of export revenue and the increase of the trade deficit.

With a strong increase in many commodities such as apparel, footwear, wooden products, phones and accessories and computers and their spare parts, Vietnam’s exports still increased by nearly 10 percent.

With huge demand for investment and development and especially input materials in the first nine months, Vietnam imported 113.5 billion USD of materials for production, accounting for 91.1 percent of the total import value.

According to experts, to promote export growth and reduce imports, functional agencies need to address problems that are disrupting the exports of agro-products.

It is necessary to tighten supervision on import commodities, intensify efforts to combat fake or counterfeit products and boost domestic production, they said.

In the long term, the country needs to build supporting industries and ensure supply for the garment and textile, footwear and machinery sectors as well as boost imports from different countries.-VNA