Two-way trade turnover between Vietnam and the European Union (EU) in 2012 reached 29.09 billion USD, up 19.7 percent from 2011, according to the General Department of Customs.

Vietnam exported 20.3 billion USD worth of goods to the EU in 2012, an increase of 22.7 percent year on year, while importing 8.79 billion USD worth of goods and services, up 13.4 percent. As a result, the EU surpassed the US to become Vietnam’s largest importer.

Vietnam’s key export items to the EU were garments, footwear, coffee, seafood, computers, mobile handsets and spare parts. These accounted for 75 percent of the country’s total exports in 2012.

While the country only began to export mobile handsets and spare parts to the EU in 2011, the export value for these products topped 5.4 billion USD last year.

Other commodities saw moderate growth, such as plastic products, wood and wooden products, bags, suitcases, umbrellas, pepper and cashew nuts.

For its part, Vietnam imported mainly machinery and equipment, pharmaceuticals, milk and dairy products from the EU.

According to the European market Department under the Ministry of Industry and Trade, the growth in bilateral trade between Vietnam and the EU despite the worlds economic stagnation and the debt crisis facing many EU member nations is a positive signal, suggesting that the cooperation between the two sides is steadily increasing.-VNA