Producing garments for export at the TNG Song Cong company in Thai Nguyen province (Photo: VNA)

Hanoi (VNA) – Vietnam is predicted to continue running a trade deficit in 2016 that will be under 5 percent of total export revenue, according to the Ministry of Industry and Trade (MoIT).

At a teleconference on June 6, Director General of the MoIT’s Planning Department Vu Ba Phu said the country recorded a trade deficit of about 400 million USD in May.

Although there was a trade surplus equivalent to 2 percent of total export value in the first five months, demand for imported machinery and materials for infrastructure building is still high.

There is also a growing need for industrial equipment imports to expand production and optimise opportunities brought about by many free trade agreements that the country has joined in.

From January to May, Vietnam posted a trade surplus of 1.36 billion USD as a result of some 67.7 billion USD in exports (up 6.6 percent year on year) and 66.3 billion USD in imports (down 0.9 percent year on year).

Notably, overseas agro-forestry-fishery shipments during the five months rose by 818 million USD or 10.1 percent from a year earlier, compared to a 10-percent decline in the same period last year.

China remained the biggest exporter of goods to Vietnam during the five months, posting a turnover of 19.2 billion USD, dropping by 2.9 percent annually.

To attain an export growth rate of 10 percent this year as targeted by the National Assembly, the MoIT should devise measures for tackling business obstacles and improving production capacity, MoIT Minister Tran Tuan Anh said.-VNA