Workers process fruit for export at the An Giang Fruit-Vegetables & Foodstuff Joint Stock Company (Source: VNA)

Hanoi (VNA) – Vietnam generated more than 67.7 billion USD from exports in the first five months of this year, surging 6.6 percent against the same period last year, according to the General Statistics Office (GSO).

Of the sum, domestic enterprises contributed over 19.44 billion USD, up 3.9 percent year-on-year, while the remainder of more than 48.26 billion USD came from foreign-funded firms, up 7.7 percent year-on-year.

Key export products recording a strong increase in export value in the reviewed period included: vegetables and fruit, growing 53.7 percent to 1 billion USD; telephones and their components, up 20.6 percent to 14.4 billion USD; machines and equipment, with a rise of 16.2 percent to 3.6 billion USD; and handbags, hats and umbrellas, up 12.1 percent to 1.3 billion USD.

Other products with encouraging export growth were: rice, up 8.4 percent; electronics, computer and parts, up 5.4 percent; footwear, up 6 percent; and seafood, up 5.6 percent.

But the first five months saw significant reductions in export turnover of some major export items, such as: crude oil, slumping 49.2 percent to 883 million USD; steel and iron, down 10.2 percent to 649 million USD; and cassava, down 22.7 percent.

The GSO also reported that from January to May, the value of national imports modestly decreased by 1 percent year-on-year to above 66.34 billion USD, with 27.2 billion USD from domestic enterprises and 39.1 billion USD from foreign-funded businesses.

That resulted in a trade surplus of 1.36 billion USD in five months, lower than the 1.46 billion USD recorded during the same period last year.

The office said China remained Vietnam’s largest import market. During the period, Vietnam paid 19.2 billion USD for imports from China: five times and six times higher than figures from the EU and the US, respectively.

Vietnam’s five-month import value from this neighboring nation also doubled that from ASEAN countries and tripled that from Japan.

Vietnam has set the twin goals of fetching a total of 178 billion USD from exports by year-end, up 10 percent from a year ago, and controlling trade deficit at 5 percent.

Experts forecast that this will not prove a very difficult target, as export doors will be more open after some of the bilateral and multilateral free trade agreements recently signed by Vietnam take effect.-VNA