A view of the Bach Ho oil field (Photo:VNA)
Hanoi (VNA) – Vietnam could run up a 4-billion-USD trade deficit for the whole year after three consecutive years of a trade surplus, the Ministry of Industry and Trade (MOIT) said.

The trade deficit would account for 2.4 percent of total exports, much lower than the set target of five percent set by the National Assembly early this year. It would also be lower than the ministry's previous forecast of 6 billion USD or between 3.3 percent and 3.6 percent of total exports.

Previously, the MOIT forecast that Vietnam would earn between 164 billion USD and 164.5 billion USD from exports this year, an increase of between 9.3 percent and 9.5 percent against 2014. Import turnover was projected at 168 billion US, up 13.5 percent, compared to 2014.

Statistics from the ministry showed that in the first 11 months of the year, export revenues have totalled 148.71 billion USD, up 8.3 percent over the same period last year. During the first 11 months, the country's import values totalled nearly 152.5 billion USD, an increase of 13.7 percent over the same period last year, causing a 3.8 billion USD trade gap in general.

The ministry said the world goods market has been witnessing a downward trend due to decreasing demand. The trade data showed that Vietnam's trade deficit has been mostly caused by Vietnamese firms, which had outperformed the foreign-owned sector in terms of export for many years.

From January to November, the domestic sector caused an 18.7 billion USD trade deficit, whereas foreign-invested firms helped the country run up a 14.9 billion USD trade surplus, according to the General Statistics Office (GSO).

Imports for FDI businesses increased 8 percent to 62.3 billion USD while those of domestic companies shot up over twice the rate at 18.1 percent to 90.2 billion USD, the GSO said.

The United States remained Vietnam's largest export market with sales of 30.6 billion USD (up 17.6 percent), followed in descending order of importance by the European Union, the Association of South East Asian Nations, China, and Japan, along with the Republic of Korea.

China was the biggest import market with an estimated value of 45.1 billion USD, up 14 percent.-VNA