The country’s export turnover this year is expected to reach roughly 115 billion USD, an increase of 18 percent over last year despite continuing global economic difficulties, according to the Ministry of Industry and Trade.

The ministry noted that the rising export revenue was one of the bright points of the economy this year since demands in most major markets has fallen sharply and many domestic exporters have cut production.

Yet the value of many export products rose, including mobile phones and electronic components, the value of which has nearly double since last year.

Exports to Japan posted the highest growth of 23 percent.

The value of imports was expected to grow by only about 6.7 percent this year to 121 billion USD, helping the trade deficit remain low. The proportion of import goods has also changed, with goods and materials for domestic production accounting for 91,4 billion USD nearly 88 percent of total import value.

The slow growth in the trade deficit has contributed to improve the country’s trade balance of payment. The country’s foreign reserves this year were expected to surge to 20 billion USD from last year’s 9 billion USD, according to the Ministry of Planning and Investment.

However, the Ministry of Industry and Trade has warned that the country’s export surge this year has been mainly due to foreign invested firms. The export value of Vietnamese firms alone has risen by only 0.8 percent.

The ministry has also voiced concerns about the difficulties facing domestic production next year, as domestic enterprises have sharply reduced their imports of equipment for production. The import value of equipment this year has grown by only 4 percent over last year, compared to a 15-20 percent in previous years.

In light of the volatility of many export markets, the ministry also said that competitiveness of Vietnamese goods could decline next year as Vietnam removes or reduces export subsidies in line with its international commitments. Meanwhile, importing countries are imposing stricter quality regulations as an altenative measure to restrict import.-VNA