Vietnam has set its sights on an import-export growth of 10 percent year-on-year in 2014, with a particular focus on reducing the trade deficit.

“This is a big target, it means that the country has to earn 147 billion USD while keeping the trade deficit at 6 percent, around 9 billion USD,” Deputy Minister of Industry and Trade Tran Tuan Anh said in a recent exclusive interview with the Vietnam News Agency.

To realise the target, the ministry will increase trade promotion overseas with a view to boosting Vietnamese key export items.

Vietnam has 22 hard foreign currency earners such as seafood, wooden items, electronics, processed industry and transport, with export revenues of 1 billion USD each year.

According to the Deputy Minister, Vietnam’s major export items, including agricultural products, clothing and footwear, are set to benefit from favourable conditions introduced by the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) agreement which is expected to be concluded this year.

This is a big opportunity to increase the share market of the products and raise added value and quality, creating sustainable development with partners, he said.

2013 was a busy year for import and export activities. The country registered a year-on-year export growth rate of 15.4 percent to 132.2 billion USD. The figure showed a 5.4 percent increase against the plan set by the National Assembly.

In addition, the trade deficit was kept under control, marking the second consecutive year the country had maintained a positive trade balance.

Last year, Vietnam gained a trade surplus of 863 million USD, creating positive changes in the management of import and export activities as well as the capacity of the economy, businesses, products and services.-VNA