The Vietnamese economy, facing a lot of difficulties though, managed to secure a relatively stable growth driven by industrial exports, the Vietnam Business Forum Magazine (VBF) reported.

Vietnam ’s export turnover was projected at 148 billion USD in 2014, up 12 percent over 2013 and higher than the growth target of 10 percent set by the National Assembly.

The nine-month export earnings fulfilled 75.4 percent of the target of 145.4 billion USD set for the whole year. The foreign direct investment (FDI) sector continued to lead other economic sectors in export revenue and its percentage is getting higher and higher.

The FDI sector accounted for 61.3 percent of Vietnam ’s export earnings in the first nine months of 2014, higher than 60.5 percent in the same period of 2013.

Export growth outpaced import growth in the January-September period. If the export growth is 10 percent as expected for this year, the import spending will reach 145.4 billion USD. The country already fetched 109.6 billion USD in the first nine months.

In recent years, Vietnam ’s exportation tends to accelerate in the last months of the year and, given no sudden changes, the country is likely to take 148 billion USD in the year, up 12 percent over 2013. Exports are projected to reach 146.5 billion USD, up 11 percent year on year. As a result, Vietnam will run a trade surplus of 1.5 billion USD.

The growth rates of the country’s key exports such as apparels and textiles, leather and footwear, and woodworks were higher than the overall export growth. Chemicals, handbags, suitcases, hats, umbrellas, toys and sports equipment saw over 30 percent growths.

As the demand for these commodities has incrementally increased in new markets, Vietnam needs to have support, export promotion and market expansion policies for Vietnamese companies to boost their exports to those markets.

The growth rates of agricultural, forest and aquatic products were also higher than the average overall export growth, particularly seafood, vegetables, pepper, cashew nuts and coffee. Vegetable and fruit export expanded 42.7 percent over a year earlier.

In the nine-month period, price drops took away nearly 280 million USD from export of agricultural products meanwhile fuel and mineral products increased export earnings by 59 million USD. In combination, Vietnam saw a drop of 221 million USD in exporting these two groups of products. Due to big export volumes, the country still enjoyed an increase of 843 million USD from export of these two groups of products.

Exports to new markets and niche markets soared in the first nine months of 2014. Free trade agreements (FTAs) also helped boost export growth.

Shipments to Americas rose more than 25 percent, of which the United States posted a 22.7 percent growth and Canada boasted a 39.7 percent growth. Key exports to these markets were seafood, cashew nuts, coffee, pepper, apparels, machines, equipment, tools and spare parts.

Latin America, the Caribbean and Africa did not contribute much to Vietnam ’s overall exports. However, the trade with these markets climbed substantially. Latin America and Caribbean nations posted a 41.5 percent growth in imports from Vietnam . Especially, Chile saw a 132.9 percent growth in imports from Vietnam after the bilateral FTA took effect.
Vietnam ’s exports to African countries soared over 50 percent. Developing African countries are currently in high need of agricultural products, textiles, computers, electronic products, mobile phones and vehicles. So, Vietnamese enterprises should fully tap this market for export expansion.
Exports to European markets grew more than 10 percent. Remarkably, the EU, Ireland , Belgium and Finland saw a more than 30 percent growth. However, exports to Western European, Eastern European and Nordic nations continued to decrease 10 percent, mainly because of tensions in Russia and Ukraine .

Oceania, which contributed 3 percent to Vietnam ’s total export turnover, saw a growth of 23.5 percent in imports from Vietnam . Australia, the biggest market, mainly imports seafood, vegetables, cashew nuts, crude oil, apparels and footwear from Vietnam.

Vietnam saw a 10 percent growth in exports to Asian markets, which contributed 49 percent to Vietnam ’s export earnings. East Asian nations took 29.4 percent of the share, led by Japan and China with more than 10 percent each.

In the coming time, the Ministry of Industry and Trade will seek solutions to remove difficulties and boost production and export. The ministry will also seek to expand and diversify export markets by grasping opportunities generated by international commitments, particularly FTAs. Vietnam will focus on increasing exports to traditional markets while boosting market integration in Eastern Europe, West Asia, South Asia, Africa and America Latin.-VNA