China takes top spot on VN’s list of importers

Friday, Feb 23, 2018 07:47

Truckloads of exports at the Na Nua Border Gate in the northern province of Lang Son wait for customs clearance before entering the Chinese market. — VNA/VNS Photo Thai Thuan

China has overtaken the US to become Viet Nam’s largest importer as of January 2018, accounting for 77 per cent of the country’s export market, official statistics show.

Viet Nam’s total exports value to China in January 2018 totalled nearly US$3.7 billion, up by $1.9 billion, or 106 per cent, over the same period last year, according to data from the General Department of Vietnam Customs (GDVC).

This time in previous years, China’s annual imports value from Viet Nam was a mere $1.9 billion, making it the third biggest importer from Viet Nam.

The main reason behind such strong bilateral trade growth is the scheduled commitments within the ASEAN-China Free Trade Area (ACFTA) framework.

As of January 1, 2018, another 588 tariff lines between Viet Nam and China have been cut to zero per cent, bringing the number of eliminated tariff lines to 8,571, accounting for 90.3 per cent of total tariffs.

Statistics from the General Statistics Office (GSO) show that until December 2017, the US remained Viet Nam’s largest export market, but imports from Viet Nam in January 2018 totalled $3.6 billion, having increased $624 million year-on-year.

The third biggest importer for Viet Nam in January 2018 is the EU at $3 billion export value, up by 6.6 per cent from January 2017; followed by ASEAN at $1.7 billion, then Japan and South Korea at $1.5 billion and $1.3 billion, respectively.

In January 2018, the highest-valued Vietnamese exports to China were mobile phone components with a turnover of nearly $895 million. In addition, exports of computer parts and electronic components to China also reached $691 million in the first month of the year. Vegetables and fruits have risen to become the third most valuable export item to China at $296.3 million.

During the same period, Viet Nam spent $5.767 billion importing goods from China, meaning a trade deficit of $2.059 billion. This number has decreased slightly by $46 million, compared with the trade deficit of $2.105 billion in January 2017.

In December 2017, the China International Finance Corporation (CICC) predicted that China will overtake the US as the world’s largest importer over the next five years.

They said that China is currently the largest exporter, and the second largest importer in the world, in the context of a stable domestic economy and recovering global commodity prices.

The CICC report notes that China’s trend of increasing imports has had a huge impact on the global market as it is the largest importer of 41 countries and territories.

As the world’s most populous market, China is expected to become the largest consumer market in the world and will start importing more consumer goods than raw industrial materials. — VNS

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