Inside Norfolk JSC factory in Dong Van 1 Industrial Zone, northern ​Ha Nam Province (Photo :VNA)
 
 
Hanoi (VNA) – Vietnam is likely to miss an export growth target of 10 percent that the National Assembly set for 2016, official data has suggested.

The country’s export value totalled 159.5 billion USD in the first 11 months of this year, up 7.5 percent over the same period last year.

No sudden fluctuation is expected in December’s export value, compared to November’s level of around 15.6 billion USD. This means the 10 percent goal is almost unachievable.

Minister of Industry and Trade Tran Tuan Anh told Government portal chinhphu.vn that the country faced significant obstacles in export activities this year because political instability in some major export markets caused demand and price declines in the outlets.

Agricultural and aquatic products especially suffered from low world prices, with rice exports falling 20 percent in quantity and 18 percent in value this year.

A slump of around 1 billion USD in mineral exports, though in line with a national policy to reduce mineral exports, hindered the general growth.

Fossil coal export was down 45 percent in quantity and 47 percent in value, and the rates of decline were 20 percent and 40 percent, respectively, for crude oil, in 2016.

Vietnam Textile and Apparel Association Chairman Vu Duc Giang said 2016 was the toughest year for the garment and textile sector over the last decade. The sector posted growth of roughly 5 percent this year, half of the rate recorded in several previous years.

“Garment and textile firms say they have ‘lived from hand to mouth’ in 2016,” he told chinhphu.vn.

Telephone and component exports hit 32 billion USD this year, after reaching 30.6 billion USD in 2015 and 23.6 billion USD in 2014.

However, growth of these exports, which accounted for nearly one-fifth of all export values of the nation, fell to some 10 percent this year from a peak of 30 percent recorded some years ago.

Pham Tat Thang, a senior advisor from the ministry’s Vietnam Institute for Trade, said there were bright points in the dim situation.

Some traditional exports witnessed significant growth this year, such as coffee (up 26 percent), cashew nuts (up 16 percent) and pepper (up 16 percent).

Vegetables also increased 30 percent, confectionery was up 17 percent, and animal feed rose by 17 percent.

Tran Thanh Hai, deputy head of the ministry’s Import-Export Department, said while major exporting countries also suffered declines, Vietnam’s export growth reaching nearly 8 percent was worth acknowledgement.

“Current export values show that farm produce is consumed well and is benefiting farmers, and more jobs are generated by enterprises involved in industrial production. This is a valuable issue behind the 8 percent figure,” he told chinhphu.vn.

Hai said Vietnam could better the export situation next year, taking advantage of its free trade agreement with the European Union, and the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership.

He said the country was to restructure export products to promote its competitive edges while trying to expand markets.

“An example, five years ago, no one thought Vietnam would be a bright point in the technology world or a mobile phone production base. But now we have a reputation in these areas,” he said.

Hai said the country needed to decide which link of the global value chain to take part in to maximise benefits, and this would require the rationalisation of economic sectors and trade policies.

Imports were to be reasonably balanced to meet demand of the economy, support exports, and help processing enterprises better join the global value chain, he added. - VNA