Vietnam enjoyed a trade surplus of over 2 billion EUR with France last year, slightly lower than a record 2.1 billion EUR seen in 2012.

French customs statistics showed that two-way trade between Vietnam and France grew 6 percent from 2012 to 3.5 billion EUR, including 2.79 billion EUR in Vietnam’s exports and 704 million EUR in imports, up 4 percent and 14.7 percent, respectively.

France remains one of Vietnam’s leading European markets despite the regional economic turndown. It spent 956 million EUR on Vietnam’s mobile phones and accessories, 484 million EUR on footwear and 323 million EUR on garment, among others.

Notably, France’s spending on pharmaceutical materials shot up over 300 percent year-on-year, from 36,000 EUR to 142,000 EUR.

Meanwhile, pharmaceuticals topped Vietnam’s imports from France with a value of 142.6 million EUR, followed by electronic goods and spare parts with 49.7 million EUR and mechanical products worth 49 million EUR.

Aviation equipment, mainly aircraft and satellites also posted an impressive import value, from 6 million EUR in 2012 to 106.6 million EUR in 2013.

Commercial counsellor of the Vietnamese Embassy in France Nguyen Canh Cuong said Vietnamese exporters of consumer goods see bright prospects in France ahead as their products well cater to mid-end and low-end French markets.-VNA