Vietnam records trade surplus of 6.5 billion USD despite COVID-19 hinh anh 1Workers are preparing for garment and textile orders (Photo: VietnamPlus).

Hanoi (VNA) – 
Vietnam’s trade surplus with the rest of the world stood at 6.5 billion USD in the first seven months of this year amidst a decline in global trade due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The figure is much higher than 1.98 billion USD recorded in the same period last year, according to the General Statistics Office (GSO).

 The foreign-invested sector, including crude oil, recorded a trade surplus of 17.6 billion USD, the office said. However, the domestic economic sector had a trade deficit of 11.1 billion USD.

The office also noted that in the first seven months, Vietnam’s export value was estimated at 145.79 billion USD, up 0.2 percent over the same period last year.

Of which, the domestic economic sector continued to be the highlight with export value at 50.76 billion USD, up 13.5 percent while the foreign-invested sector reached 95.03 billion USD, accounting for 65.2 percent of total export value, down 5.7 percent year on year.

In July, the nation’s total export value was estimated at 23 billion USD, up 1.9 percent compared to last month. Of which, 8.5 billion USD was from the domestic economic sector, up 2.6 percent month-on-month and 14.5 billion USD from the foreign-invested sector, up 1.5 percent.

During the first seven months, 23 groups of goods saw export value of over 1 billion USD. Of which, the group of phones and components had the highest export value with 25.7 billion USD, but it fell by 6.6 percent over the same period last year.

The group of electronics, computers, and components followed with 23.1 billion USD, up 24.3 percent, tagged along by textiles and garments with 16.2 billion USD, down 12.1 percent.

The group of machinery, equipment, and spare parts had an export value of 12.4 billion USD, up 27.1 percent, and footwear with 9.5 billion USD, down 7.9 percent.

Exports of most agricultural products decreased compared to the same period last year, including fruits, vegetables, coffee, cashew, rubber and pepper. Only rice products gained growth of 10.9 percent in export value to 1.9 billion USD.

The US was Vietnam’s largest export market in the first seven months of this year with value of 37.9 billion USD, up 15 percent year on year. Other large export markets included China, EU, ASEAN, Japan and the Republic of Korea.

Meanwhile, China was Vietnam’s largest import market with estimated value of 41.6 billion USD, down 1.8 percent year on year.

In the first seven months, the national import value was estimated at 139.33 billion USD, down by 2.9 percent compared to the same period last year. The import value was 61.86 billion USD from the domestic economic sector, up by 1.5 percent and 77.47 billion USD from the foreign-invested sector, down by 6.2 percent.

The Ministry of Industry and Trade’s Foreign Trade Agency said Vietnam’s import and export of goods are expected to be better in the second half of this year because many countries have started easing disease control measures and opening markets to accelerate economic recovery.

In the second half of this year, the department expects the implementation of the EU-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA) to create more export opportunities for Vietnam to the world's second largest market with a population of over 508 million people and GDP of 18 trillion USD.

However, the department also said that Vietnam’s trade activities would continue to face unpredictable factors because the disease is not controlled completely. Therefore, the country would face difficulties in achieving growth in export value as in previous years.

Vinatex Deputy General Director Cao Huu Hieu said “Vinatex’s order was largely impacted by the coronavirus outbreak. Therefore, after the pandemic is controlled, Vinatex’s member companies have rushed off their feet to ensure business and production plan”.

Vietnam records trade surplus of 6.5 billion USD despite COVID-19 hinh anh 2The garment and textile sector applies advanced technologies to better labour productivity (Photo: VietnamPlus).

Next year, the national export value is forecasted to depend on the control of the pandemic and re-opening of the world economy, according to the Foreign Trade Agency.

As the pandemic remains complicated, digitalisation is important to promote exports, helping Vietnamese firms expand their export markets, according to Deputy Minister of Industry and Trade Cao Quoc Hung.

Earlier, the ministry joined hands with the Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry and the Vietnam E-commerce Association to organise a forum encouraging digitalisation in import and export activities. At the event, the MoIT launched the Vietnam’s supporting platform for exporting (ECVN) with a view to aiding online trade promotion as well as enhancing trade connectivity between Vietnamese and EU firms.

The ministry has put into operation a website on the EVFTA at to help individuals and businesses study issues relating to the EVFTA including an overview of the deal, this FTA's commitments in key areas such as goods, services – investment and useful information for exporters.

Furthermore, the ministry has applied information technology to reform administrative procedures boosting exports.

At present, there are six online administrative procedures in the import and export fields to connect to the National Single Window system while 11 other administrative procedures are carried out entirely online at level 4./.