Vietnam earned 6.5 billion USD in exports in January, down by 28.5 percent from last December and 11.1 percent for the same period last year, said the Ministry of Industry and Trade.

The country also spent 6.6 billion USD on imports in the reviewed period, showing decreases of 29.5 percent and 18.7 percent, respectively.

As a result, trade deficit continued to decrease from 270 million USD last December to about 100 million USD this month.

Declines in exports were seen in the apparel sector with 26.9 percent; seafood, 39.8 percent; electronics and accessories, 34.5 percent; furniture, 27.5 percent; and rubber, 31.3 percent.

Meanwhile, import items seeing decrease include means of transport and spare parts, 94 percent; vegetable oil and fat , 52 percent and metal products , 58 percent .

According to the Ministry, this year it will continue expanding and diversifying markets for exports , while maintaining and boosting trade promotion activities, particularly programmes to help Vietnamese enterprises seek partners and expand export markets, targeting an export growth of 13 percent.

The Ministry continues to enhance and improve the provision of information and forecasting related to export markets and technical barriers.

In an attempt to reduce the trade deficit to below 10 percent, an increase in the consumption of domestic materials and products in bidding is needed, especially in projects funded by the State budget, according to the Ministry./.