Illustrative image (Source: VNA)
Hanoi (VNA) – Reducing trade deficit with China to progress to trade balance from the market shape one of the major policies and key activities of the Ministry of Industry and Trade (MoIT), an official has said.

Vietnam’s trade deficit with China fell by 13.3 percent to 19 billion USD in the first eight months of 2016, ending the rising trade deficit faced from 2001, according to the General Statistics Office (GSO).

Deputy Director of the MoIT’s Industry and Trade Information Center Le Quoc Phuong blamed for the global economic downturn, which caused a reduction in demand in almost markets, including Vietnam.

Furthermore, domestic businesses are striving to diversify their import markets to lessen dependence on the traditional ones, he said, adding that they are actively importing commodities from other markets such as the Republic of Korea (RoK).

The GSO said Vietnam imported 20.3 billion USD worth of goods from the RoK in the past eight months of 2016, a year-on-year rise of 9.3 percent, mainly computers, electronic products and spare parts, he cited.

However, the declining trade deficit with China at present is just temporary, he said, noting that made-in-China commodities still remain the first choice of Vietnamese businesses due to the two countries’ proximity and highly competitive prices.
When the economic growth bounces back, Vietnam needs more measures to reduce imports from China to reach a trade balance in a sustainable manner, he recommended.

Deputy Minister of Industry and Trade Do Thang Hai said one of the important solutions is to promote trade to increase exports to China.

He noted that Vietnam’s participation at the recent China-ASEAN Expo (CAEXPO) 2016 held in Nanning city aims to seek wider presence for Vietnamese products in the market.

Despites difficulties from the beginning of this year, Vietnam exported 12.6 billion USD worth of goods to China, a year-on-year rise of 15 percent, he said, adding that Vietnam is mainly importing machinery, equipment, and materials from China.

In the long run, the MoIT will actively develop the support industry and strictly control the import of products that are locally available and those that are unsafe, he confirmed.-VNA