Exports top 240 billion USD despite complex COVID-19 situation hinh anh 1Exports continue to post a double-digit growth rate in the first nine months of 2021 (Photo: VNA)
Hanoi (VNA) – Despite the complex COVID-19 situation that leads to social distancing under the Prime Minister’s Directive No 16 in many localities, Vietnam still eyed a double-digit growth rate in exports by the end of the third quarter in 2021.

Double-digit growth sustained

According to the Ministry of Industry and Trade (MoIT), exports were estimated at 27 billion USD in September, down 0.8 percent month on month and 0.6 percent year on year.

However, the nine-month figure still grew 18.8 percent from the same period last year to about 240.52 billion USD.

Agro-forestry-fishery products brought home 20.1 billion USD between January and September, rising 10.8 percent from a year earlier, statistics showed.

Some commodities registering fast export growth include cassava (up 67.6 percent in value and 50.2 percent in volume) and rubber (up 52.7 percent in value and 17.1 percent in volume).

The processing and manufacturing industry was still the biggest contributor to overseas shipments, with 207.5 billion USD in export value (up 20.8 percent year on year), accounting for 86.27 percent of the total.

Many products of this sector saw a strong increase in nine-month export, including steel (8.23 billion USD, up 125.4 percent in value and 29.3 percent in volume); machinery, equipment, spare parts (26.26 billion USD, up 44.5 percent in value and 10.9 percent in volume); and timber and wood products (11.14 billion USD, up 30.9 percent in value despite a decline of 35.3 percent in volume).

Deputy Minister of Industry and Trade Do Thang Hai said in spite of the COVID-19 pandemic’s impact on the gross domestic product (GDP), the growth in many indexes has considerably contributed to overall development.

For example, the processing and manufacturing industry expanded 6.05 percent, contributing 1.53 percentage points to the GDP growth.

Amid strict measures taken to curb the pandemic, the double-digit growth rate in exports has demonstrated great efforts by the business community, Hai noted.

Meanwhile, imports were at 26.5 billion USD in September, falling 3.1 percent month on month. That added up to 242.65 billion USD in nine-month imports, rising 30.5 percent year on year.

China remained the largest importer of Vietnamese goods, with 81.2 billion USD (up 40.9 percent). It was followed by the Republic of Korea with 39.8 billion USD (up 20.6 percent).

The country recorded 500 million USD in trade surplus in September but 2.13 billion USD in deficit during the first nine months, against a surplus of 16.66 billion USD in the same period last year.

Opportunities should be optimised in remaining months

Though the COVID-19 pandemic remains complex and unpredictable in the country and around the world, the MoIT said Vietnam is holding advantages for export thanks to free trade agreements.

Notably, shipments to many markets enjoyed strong growth during the nine months such as to the US 69.8 billion USD (up 27.5 percent from a year earlier), China 38.5 billion USD (up 18.3 percent), and the EU 28.8 billion USD (up 11.5 percent).

The MoIT predicted this year’s exports are likely to continue increasing by over 10 percent from 2020, higher than the growth target of 4 - 5 percent set by the National Assembly and the Government.

However, to achieve the set targets, aside from removing hindrances facing businesses, the MoIT still needs to reform and organise more trade promotion and demand - supply connection programmes, both at home and abroad, as well as online and one new platforms, with a focus on seasonal products and farm produce.

Recently, to help enterprises cope with adverse impacts caused the COVID-19 pandemic, the MoIT’s Trade Promotion Agency has stepped up the application of IT and digital platforms to support firms to boost export.

It has also augmented negotiations to explore new markets and those with higher requirements such as those in Europe, the Americas, and Australia. Market information provision and trade promotion have also been increased to foster shipments to potential markets in Eastern Europe, Northern Europe, and Latin America./.