Vietnam earned 24.5 billion USD from exports in the first quarter of this year despite the adverse impacts of the global market, recording a year-on-year increase of 23.6 percent.

Export earnings in the foreign-investred sector made a year-on-year increase of 48.8 percent.

By the end of the first quarter, textiles and garments earned an export turnover of 3.2 billion USD, followed by seven commodities with export revenues of one or more billion USD each; seafood, coffee, crude oil, footwear, electronic products, mobile phones, machinery and general equipment.

Meanwhile, the import turnover for the first quarter of the year stood at 251 million USD, the lowest figure for a number of years.

At a regular teleconference between Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City, Deputy Minister of Industry and Trade Nguyen Nam Hai said that Vietnamese businesses are facing difficulties accessing loans and with the rising costs of imported raw materials while the export price of commodities have fallen this year.

To help businesses, Deputy Minister Hai said that the ministry proposed lengthening the time scale for them to pay tax and implementing an export credit insurance scheme on a trial basis, besides helping businesses look at trade barriers on certain imported goods.

To fulfill the export targets set for this year, Hai said the ministry will instruct businesses to save energy, reduce unnecessary expenditure, upgrade their technologies, increase the quality of management and restructure their business operations.-VNA