Export surplus surpasses 7 billion USD, reaching record high in 2018

According to the Ministry of Industry and Trade, exports grew strongly in 2018.
Export surplus surpasses 7 billion USD, reaching record high in 2018 ảnh 1Illustrative photo (Source: VNA)

Hanoi (VNA) - According to the Ministry of Industry and Trade, exports grew strongly in 2018, with 29 export items reeling in more than 1 billion USD, eight items some 5 billion USD and five items over 10 billion USD.

The year ended with export scale increasing and markets expanding robustly.

Notably, the highest ever trade surplus obtained last year significantly contributed to GDP growth, macroeconomic stability, inflation control and an improved balance of payments.

[Export performance in 2018 “very positive”: expert]

29 export items bring back more than 1 billion USD

According to the Ministry of Industry and Trade (MoIT), total import-export turnover was estimated at 482.236 billion USD in 2018, up 12.64 percent against 2017.

Of which exports hit 244.7 billion USD and imports 237.5 billion USD, annual increases of 13.8 and 11.5 percent,respectively.

Nguyen Thi Mai Linh from the ministry’s Department of Import and Export said at a recent meeting that 2018 was successful in terms of export and trade balance, as export growth surpassed the yearly target.

Notably, export scale grew strongly in 2018, with 29 export items reeling in over 1 billion USD, eight items over 5 billion USD, and five items over 10 billion USD.

The processing and manufacturing industries continued to play an important role in export growth, generating export value of 202.67 billion USD, up 16.2 percent from 2017 and accounting for more than 82.8 percent of the country’s total value.

"This was the seventh consecutive year since 2012 that export growth of processed industrial products was higher than general export growth," said a MoIT representative.

In addition, the agricultural and aquatic sector maintained its growth, with export turnover reaching 26.7 billion USD, up 2.3 percent. As of 2018, Vietnam's agricultural, forestry and fishery products had been shipped to 180 countries and territories around the globe. Their 10 major markets consisted of China, the US, Japan, the Republic of Korea, Germany, Netherlands, the UK, Australia, Malaysia, and Italy.

To date, Vietnam has been ranked the top exporter worldwide of pepper, cashew and Tra fish, while ranked second for its exports of coffee and third for rice and shrimp.

Le Tien Truong, General Director of Vietnam Textile and Garment Group (Vinatex), said the garment and textile sector, one of the five largest export items in 2018, has grown in both quality and quantity.

Vietnam's textile exports in 2018 surpassed Bangladesh, rising to third worldwide, only behind China and India.

Vietnam’s exports to all markets with which it has signed free trade agreements recorded good growth. The country’s value of shipments to the Republic of Korea increased by 23.2 percent against 2017, ASEAN 13.7 percent, Japan 12.9 percent, EU 11 percent, the US 14.2 percent, and China 18.5 percent.

Export surplus surpasses 7 billion USD, reaching record high in 2018 ảnh 2

Trade surplus tripled from 2017

Vietnam’s 2018 import value reached 237.5 billion USD, up 11.5 percent compared to 2017. Of the total, the domestic sector contributed 94.8 billion USD, while the foreign-invested sector made up 142.7 billion USD, up 11.3 and 11.6 percent year-on-year, respectively.

The country spent 210.6 billion USD or 88.68 percent of total import turnover on buying goods for production and consumption, an annual increase of 10.8 percent.

As such, the trade surplus was estimated at 7.2 billion USD, the highest ever recorded to date, making 2018 the third consecutive year of trade surplus. Notably, Vietnam posted trade surplus with developed and demanding markets like the US.

According to statistics, Vietnam’s trade surpluses with the US and EU were 32.24 and 26.14 billion USD in 2017, which increased to 34.7 and 28.7 billion USD in 2018, respectively.

Vo Tri Thanh, Director of the Institute for Brand and Competitiveness Strategy, said export results were very impressive and the quality of growth had progressed significantly.

For example, some areas – such as textiles-garments, leather, footwear, and woodwork production, which previously had low added value, have improved significantly and even found opportunities amid challenges to gain better exports.

Thanh said many Vietnamese enterprises have tried to rise and join the value chain for improved added value.

Based on such outcomes, the MoIT forecast the export and import values this year to hit about 265 billion USD and 268 billion USD, up 8-10 percent and 11.7 percent from 2018, respectively. Trade deficit is expected to be about 3 billion USD and the trade deficit rate against export turnover to remain below 2 percent. -VNA


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