Illustrative image (Source: VNA)

Hanoi (VNA)  - Vietnam’s total export earnings hit 13 billion USD in February, raising the total in the first two months of this year to 27.3 billion USD, up 15.4 percent annually, said the Ministry of Industry and Trade (MoIT).

Of the two-month figure, 19.7 billion USD was contributed by foreign investment sector, including crude oil, marking a 16.8 percent increase while the remaining was from domestic sector, up 12.2 percent.

The MoIT’s statistics showed that agro-forestry-fisheries earned 3.2 billion USD in February, or 9.9 percent rise year-on-year, accounting for 11.4 percent of the total.

Several commodities raked in less export revenues, including rice (21.4 percent), pepper (26.9 percent), cassava and its products (15.8 percent).

Mineral and materials group saw a 49.2 percent surge to nearly 0.7 billion USD, equivalent to 1.9 percent of the total. Meanwhile, processing industry group earned 22 billion USD, up 1.5 percent year on year and making up 80.6 percent of the total. Only a few commodities suffered steep export prices such as pepper (21.1 percent) and ore and other minerals (48.4 percent).

Notably, the US remained Vietnam’s largest importer with a two-month growth of 18.9 percent, or 21.8 percent of the country’s total shipment. It was followed by Asia, European Union, China and the Republic of Korea.

According to experts from the MoIT’s Export-Import Department, the decrease in export volumes of agro-forestry-fisheries, minerals and materials shows that domestic exporters are facing increasingly intense competition from their Cambodian, Philippine, Bangladeshi and Pakistani rivals, pointing to the need to outline a long-term scheme to stabilise export capability.

During the two months, the import of iron & steel wastages and nine-seater automobiles from ASEAN and India rose significantly due to a reduction of tariff imposed on ASEAN automobiles with fewer than nine seats from 40 percent to 30 percent as committed in the ASEAN Trade in Goods Agreement, and steep discount of made-in-India car prices to compete with those from Thailand and Indonesia.

The MoIT is embarking on a sustainable export development scheme, in which, specific measures are outlined to restructure the market, renew growth and improve competitiveness of export products.

It will also accelerate trade promotion of goods of high competitiveness, expand export markets for key items and develop production to meet domestic and overseas demand, towards a more balanced trade.-VNA