The US-Vietnam Business Summit 2018 (Source: VNA)

Hanoi (VNA) – Two-way trade turnover between Vietnam and the US has increased nearly 120 times, reaching over 60 billion USD in 2018 from 450 million USD in 1994, since the normalisation of bilateral relations 25 years ago.

At present, Vietnam is ranked 16th among the leading trade partners of the US and the annual bilateral trade growth reaches 20 percent.

Statistics showed that Vietnam’s exports to the US in January 2019 were estimated at over 5.1 billion USD, up 42.1 percent compared the same period last year. 

Garment-textile exports to the US increased 34.1 percent to hit over 1.59 billion USD.  Other Vietnamese staples include footwear with the export turnover of 620 million USD, up by over 100 million USD; wood and timber products at 475 million USD, up by 156 million USD; and mobile phones at 473 million USD, up 259 million USD.

According to the department in charge of Asian and American markets under the Ministry of Industry and Trade, the US made up 23.3 percent of Vietnam’s total export turnover in January, maintaining its position as a key trade market.

Additionally, a range of Vietnamese goods have been growing in popularity in the US. Vietnam has been able to export mangoes to the US after a decade of negotiations and the completion of all procedures required by one of the most choosy markets in the world.

In January, the country imported over 1 billion USD worth of goods from the US, resulting in Vietnam’s trade surplus of over 4 billion USD to the market.

Minister Counsellor Bui Huy Son, head of the Vietnam Trade Office in the US, stated that his office recently worked with one of the biggest Asian food distribution chains in the US, the Rhee Brothers, to expand Vietnamese food distribution in the market.

Through traditional exchange channels and electronic trading tools, the office has connected the two countries’ businesses in numerous fields such as garment-textiles, seafood, rice, coconut products, timber products, mechanical goods, manufacturing, chemicals, cosmetics, electric cables, electronic equipment, and semiconductors.

With the largest total import value of over 2.4 trillion USD in 2018, the US will continue to be a key export market of Vietnam in the coming years, Son said, adding that this is also a fiercely competitive one.

According to experts, the trade relations between Vietnam and the US in 2019 will see important changes because the US looks likely to recognise the market economy of Vietnam after July 1, 2019. Therefore, the bilateral ties will be laid on the important legal foundation of international commitments.

To promote exports to the US, Son suggested that government agencies and the business community continue to create a favourable environment, while also improving goods quality, building brands, making good use of distribution systems, and effectively implementing trade promotion activities.

Minister of Industry and Trade Tran Tuan Anh said that besides programmes and orientations on increasing the support for building national competitiveness, the ministry will carry out big projects to increase the competitiveness of export products, especially of the industry and processing industry sectors.

Businesses themselves should proactively develop markets and increase domestic production capacity, as well as look to get deeper involved in the global supply chains.
They are recommended to build and implement effective business strategies to make inroads into the US, noted the minister.–VNA