Based on the results of the first six months, the Ministry of Industry and Trade (MOIT) forecast that Vietnam’s export value of 2014 would reach 146 billion USD, up 10.6 percent compared with previous year, the Vietnam Economic News reported.

According to the newspaper, the country’s import value would reach 145.5 billion USD, up 10.2 percent so that Vietnam would have a trade surplus of about 500 million USD this year.

Statistics from the MOIT show that in the first half of 2014, Vietnam exported an estimated 70.88 billion USD worth of products, a rise of 14.9 percent compared with the same period last year and equal to 44.7 percent of the annual plan.

The export value of most key products increased with that of 13 products reaching over 1 billion USD each. These included telephones and components, textiles and garments, footwear, computers, electronic products and components, machinery, equipment, instruments and spare parts, crude oil, seafood, wood and wood products, transportation means and spare parts, coffee, rice, handbags, suitcases, headwear, umbrellas, fiber and yarn.

“These impressive results reflected the ceaseless efforts of ministries, sectors, associations and businesses, especially in the context of numerous export difficulties in the recent period,” Deputy Director of the Agency of Foreign Trade under the MOIT Phan Thi Dieu Ha was quoted as saying at a recent meeting held by the ministry to review the results of foreign trade in the first six months of 2014.

Notably, with the import value reaching over 69.56 billion USD, Vietnam recorded a trade surplus of 1.32 billion USD, equal to 1.9 percent of the total export value, in the first six months of this year. This was the brightest point in the economic picture of the first half of 2014.

However, it’s not easy to achieve these results because the economy still faces numerous difficulties. The competition between countries which export to large markets such as the US, Japan and the Republic of Korea is becoming increasingly fierce. The export of agricultural, forest products and seafood continues to face difficulties in terms of price and market.

To achieve the export targets set for 2014, Ha said that the MOIT had issued some instructions and proposed many measures to boost exports, especially the export of agricultural products and seafood.

Recently, the MOIT and the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development met to discuss market-related issues to help businesses boost exports. They agreed that it was necessary to maintain a close relationship between agricultural production, the processing industry and value chains in order to create high-quality agricultural products.

The MOIT encouraged businesses to concentrate on investing in technological innovation to improve product quality and reduce production costs, increase the localisation rate and reduce trade deficit.-VNA