Exports of mobile phones and spare-parts topped 3 billion USD in the first four months, a 161.5 percent increase year-on-year to place the industry second after garments and textiles in Vietnam's top 10 in export value.

Customs statistics show that mobile phone and spare-parts exports previously reached 300-400 million USD a month but since July last year they have risen strongly to 1.3 billion USD a month and have held second spot in export value since last September.

Exports of computers, electronics items and spare parts stood at 1.8 billion USD from January 1 to April 15, an increase of 79.2 percent over the same period last year.

This record was attributed to the exports of the giant Samsung's Vietnam division which last year accounted for more than 70 percent of mobile phone exports, worth 6 billion USD, and this year reached about 1 billion USD a month. With such export growth, Samsung Vietnam 's export value can reach between 11-12 billion USD this year, said deputy minister of Industry and Trade Nguyen Thanh Bien.

Meanwhile, exports from domestic businesses remained modest. They were mainly hired to assemble for foreign partners from Japan , the Republic of Korea , Singapore , Malaysia , Taiwan and other ASEAN countries.

Son said the number of Vietnamese electronics businesses was large but they had failed to compete with foreign partners due to limited finance and technology. Foreign companies held 80 percent of the local electronics market share and made up 95 percent of the export value.

Most Vietnamese enterprises were involved in buying parts and assembling products, such as televisions, karaoke equipment and refrigerators, for local consumption. In the domestic market however, locally made products were mainly consumed in remote areas because they failed to compete with products of foreign firms in cities.

In addition, local firms in the electronics industry were shifting to develop LED, solar or wind power products while seeking new business opportunities.

The Government has planned to manufacture heathcare equipment and specialised electronic products that will generate opportunities for a number of companies in this area.

Vietnam now has nearly 500 (local and foreign) enterprises operating in the electronics industry.

Last month, Nokia began construction of a plant in Bac Ninh province to cost 200 million EUR (264 million USD).-VNA