Vietnam’s exports surge 22 percent in Q1 hinh anh 1Enterprises boost production amidst COVID-19 pandemic. (Photo: VietnamPlus)

Hanoi (VNA) – Vietnam’s export turnover in the first quarter of 2021 shot up 22 percent to estimated 77.34 billion, with processing industry being the locomotive of the expansion, the Ministry of Industry and Trade has said.

Processed products brought home 67.39 billion USD during January – March, accounting for 87.13 percent of the total export turnover. Several products posting high export revenue, including telephone and parts (14.08 billion USD); computer, electronic product and parts (11.96 billion USD); and machine, equipment, tool and parts (9.1 billion USD).

In the meantime, exports of agro-forestry-fishery products, despite hit hard by COVID-19, inched up 6.6 percent to some 5.97 billion USD. Standout export growth was seen in rubber (up 89.7 percent in volume and 16.5 percent in revenue), and cassava and cassava products (up 40.3 percent in volume and 53.2 percent in revenue).

Insiders said the export growth was sparked by local enterprises’ ability to capitalise on the signed new-generation free trade pacts in the past time.

According to Deputy Minister of Industry and Trade Cao Quoc Hung, since the EU – Vietnam Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA) took effect in August 2020, Vietnam has seen improvement in exports to the bloc, which went up 18 percent in the first three months of the year.

Vietnam’s exports surge 22 percent in Q1 hinh anh 2Vietnam increases material imports for domestic production (Photo: VietnamPlus)

Besides, export revenue to partners under the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) experienced high expansion in the period, with shipment turnover to Canada up 13.7 percent, Australia 17 percent, Chile 25.6 percent, Mexico 12.7 percent, and New Zealand 35.1 percent.

“Taking advantage of the free trade deals will help promote Vietnam’s exports in the time to come”, Hung added.

In the three-month period, Vietnam splashed out 75.31 billion USD on imports, a year-on-year rise of 26.3 percent.

Selling 23.8 billion USD worth of goods to Vietnam, China was the largest exporter of the Southeast Asian nation, followed by the Republic of Korea (13 billion USD), ASEAN (9.7 billion USD), Japan (5.1 billion USD), and EU (4.1 billion USD).

Vietnam purchased 66.1 billion USD worth of materials for domestic production, which means local firms have been ready for a new business cycle post pandemic.

The country achieved a trade surplus of 2.03  billion USD in the first quarter, with both exports and imports rising sharply.

However, future exports could face formidable challenges as the COVID-19 pandemic could cause a disruption in the global supply chain. Furthermore, high input costs such as logistics and material costs possibly affect domestic firms’ business and production.

In a bid to realise the set target, the Ministry of Industry and Trade is carrying out a wide range of promotion activities to support enterprises.

The ministry has asked competent agencies to keep a close watch on the market developments to grasp the taste of the importers.

According to the General Statistics Office, the production expectation in Q2 was more positive with an increase of 27.5 percent in registered capital at 447.8 trillion VND (19.46 billion USD) in Q1. A survey on business trends of enterprises in the manufacturing and processing industries showed enterprises expect their production and business in Q2 to be better than Q1.

At the same time, demand for consumption increased again in March with better domestic trade and freight transportation. The total retail sales of consumer goods and services in March increased 9.2 percent over February and decreased 5.4 percent from the same period last year. Though the cargo transportation increased by 5.3 percent from the previous month, the transportation of passengers still faced difficulties due to the effects of the pandemic.

Total retail sales of consumer goods and services reached 1.291 quadrillion VND, up 5.1 percent over the same period last year. Of which, the sales in March were estimated at 405.1 trillion VND, down 3.8 percent from the previous month and up 9.2 percent over the same period last year./.