Exports totalled 62.9 billion USD in the first seven months of the year, 19 percent higher than in the same period last year but reflecting a gradual slowdown, according to a report presented at an online meeting held on Aug. 6 by the Ministry of Industry and Trade.

The 19-percent increase is mainly attributed to the contribution of foreign-invested enterprises which saw exports of mobile phones and accessories increase by 151.6 percent and exports of computers and electronics increase by 81.3 percent, according to the report.

While the prices of most agricultural products have decreased or stagnated since last year, leading to slowed growth in export turnover, the export value of these products is up nearly 1 billion USD over 2011.

Foreign-invested businesses saw exports increase by 25.3 percent in the first seven months, much higher than the country's import growth overall, showing that the country's exports were still largely dependent upon foreign-invested businesses, said the deputy director of the HCM City Department of Industry and Trade, Tran Van Nhung.

Nhung urged policymakers to think more about sustainable export growth than increases in export volume.

Rubber exports in the first seven months of the year rose 22 percent in volume while decreasing 96 percent in value, due to depressed global prices.

To deal with the situation, the Vietnam Rubber Association has asked the Ministry of Finance to consider exempting or rescheduling export taxes levied on some rubber products in order to encourage further investment and spur exports.

Deputy Minister of Industry and Trade Nguyen Thanh Bien said that the National Assembly has set a target of reaching 108 billion USD in total export turnover this year, but meeting this target would require great effort on all sides.

To remove difficulties for businesses, Bien said his ministry will send a plan to the Government next week, which would include financial support and trade promotion campaigns for agricultural products as well as cement and steel, industries which are burdened with high inventories.-VNA