Illustrative image (Source: VNA)

HCM City (VNA) –Vietnam’s trade surplus hit a record high of 2.92 billion USD in 2017, according to a report released by the Ministry of Industry and Trade in Ho Chi Minh City on March 22.

The report reveals that import grew at a higher pace than export. The surplus was mainly with developed countries like the US and Australia, and the EU.

Vietnam has 29 groups of items whose export revenue exceeded 1 billion USD, 20 groups with export turnover of above 2 billon USD and eight groups with export value of more than 6 billion USD.

Tran Quoc Khanh, Deputy Minister of Industry and Trade, said that 2017 was a good one for Vietnam with its exports crossing the 200 billon USD mark for the first time and ending at 214.02 billion USD, a year-on-year increase of 21.2 percent and well above the Government’s target.

The annual report provides accurate information on the country’s trade for management agencies, policymakers and businesses.

It includes an overview of the Vietnamese and global economy, Vietnam’s import-export situation, its markets, in addition to import-export policies and mechanisms, and information on free trade agreements.

Truong Dinh Hoe, General Secretary of the Vietnam Association of Seafood Exporters and Producers, hailed the report, saying it greatly helps businesses, industries and business groups orient their export and business activities.

He called on the ministry to include more information on trade protectionism and barriers, and offer solutions and recommendations to overcome them.

The fisheries sector also needs information about the Chinese market, a promising one for Vietnamese firms, he said.

Tran Viet Anh, Vice Chairman of the HCM City Union of Business Association, said the report compliers should provide statistics on the key import and export items of each city and province to help them make plans for developing their products and sectors.

This would also help investors choose their ideal investment destinations, he added.

According to Deputy Minister Khanh, under the export-import strategy for 2011-2020, with a vision towards 2030, exports of processed industrial products will make up 81 percent, followed by agro-fishery items with over 12 percent, and minerals, about 2 percent. -VNA