Rice is packaged for export at a factory in Thot Not district, Can Tho city (Photo: VNA)

Hanoi (VNS/VNA) - Vietnam gained a trade surplus of 1.59 billion USD in the first half of this year, according to the latest statistics from the General Department of Customs.

During the six months of the year, Vietnam’s total export value reached 122.53 billion USD, a year on year increase of 7.2 percent.

The growth in export value in the first six months was mainly due to development of exports in the processing and manufacturing sector that had an export value of 102.2 billion USD, up 9.1 percent over the same period of 2018.

The good performance in the second half of June was behind the trade surplus, according to the general department.

The export value in the period from June 16-30 reached 11.23 billion USD, up 10.4 percent compared to the first 15 days of June. The goods with strong growth in export value included telephones and components, computers, electronic products and components, textile, steel, machinery, equipment, tools and spare parts, the Cong thuong (Industry and Trade) newspaper reported.

However, the total export value at 122.53 billion USD in the first six months was lower than the target at 123.5 billion USD, according to the Ministry of Industry and Trade (MoIT).

Thus, to achieve the target of 263 billion USD in total export value this year, the nation needs to gain an average of 23.4 billion USD in monthly export value in the second half of the year.

This is a very difficult task because the global economy that is declining at present will not be a favourable environment for Vietnam to accelerate exports in the remaining months of 2019. The last time that Vietnam gained 23 billion USD in export value a month was August 2018.

The ministry expects by year end, many industries of Vietnam will continue to replace Chinese goods exported to the US market due to the US-China trade war that has not shown signs of cooling down.

Exports of many commodities such as textiles, wood and wood products will accelerate in the second half of the year due to high demand for those goods during the year-end holidays. This is a good opportunity for Vietnam to continue promoting its exports.

At present, Vietnam has signed 12 free trade agreements (FTAs), including the Vietnam-European Union Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA), which is expected to help Vietnam expand export markets for local products in the future.

The ministry also said local enterprises should pay attention to origin of goods while the State agencies should focus on controlling export goods on this issue. That would help local export products take full advantage of tariffs from FTAs.

With efforts in expanding markets and implementing trade promotion programmes from the Government, ministries and business community, the ministry expects the nation could achieve the target in total export value for this year. – VNS/VNA