The Ministry of Industry and Trade has slashed its forecast for the country's 2013 trade deficit down to 3-4 billion USD from 9 billion USD previously.

According to a ministry report released last week, the country's export revenue in the second half of the year will be roughly 68-69 billion USD, pushing total export earnings for 2013 to nearly 129-130 billion USD - a 12.5-14 percent gain on last year.

Import value during the second half will reach roughly 70-71 billion USD, raising the yearly figure to 132-133 billion USD, a 14.5-16 percent increase on the previous.

Accordingly, the trade deficit is expected to be nearly 3-4 billion USD, equal to 2.5-3 percent of the total export value.

Previously, the ministry forecast the country's export revenue to reach 127 billion USD this year, 1 billion USD higher than the Government target, while import value was to be 136 billion USD.

The trade deficit therefore would stand at roughly 9 billion USD, equal to 7 percent of the total export value, but still slightly below the Government's 8 percent target.

Export value during the first half of the year rose 16.1 percent to 62.05 billion USD in spite of price falls and trade barriers. Export growth was driven by manufactured and processed goods including telephones and components, computers and electronic devices.

The country's trade deficit in the first half of the year was roughly 1.4 billion USD, equal to 2.3 percent of the total export value.-VNA