Exports hit $200 billion last year: report

Friday, Mar 23, 2018 10:05

The Ministry of Industry and Trade releases a report on 2017 imports and exports in HCM City on March 22. — VNS Photo Xuan Huong

A report on last year’s imports and exports was released on Thursday by the Ministry of Industry and Trade to provide accurate information on the country’s trade to management agencies, policymakers and businesses.

It includes an overview of the Vietnamese and global economy, Viet Nam’s import-export situation, its markets, in addition to import-export policies and mechanisms and information on free trade agreements.

Speaking at the launch ceremony, Deputy Minister Tran Quoc Khanh said compared to the first ever report released last year, this year it provided more details on import-export targets for each product and market and was also more scientifically arranged.

The report is a basic database to help enterprises make strategic plans, expand their trade, enhance their competitiveness and integrate with the global market, he said.

Last year was a good one for Viet Nam with its exports crossing the US$200 billion mark for the first time and ending at $214.02 billion, a year-on-year increase of 21.2 per cent and well above the Government’s target.

Besides improving the trade balance, it also helped promote production and create jobs, he said.

The deputy minister said last year marked a transition in exports from raw materials to manufactured and processed goods.

This is in line with the target set under the import-export strategy for 2011-20, with a vision to 2030, he said.

Exports of processed goods accounted for over 81 per cent, followed by agricultural and fisheries items with over 12 per cent, he said.

Tran Thanh Hai, deputy director of the ministry’s import – export department, said last year’s trade surplus of $2.92 billion was the highest ever.

The surplus was mainly with developed countries like the US, EU and Australia, which have strict requirements for imports.

Truong Dinh Hoe, general secretary of the Viet Nam Association of Seafood Exporters and Producers, hailed the report, saying it greatly helps businesses, industries and business groups orient their export and business activities.

He called on the ministry to include more information on trade protectionism and barriers, and offer solutions and recommendations to overcome them.

The fisheries sector also needs information about the Chinese market, a promising one for Vietnamese firms, he said.

Tran Viet Anh, vice chairman of the HCM City Union of Business Association, said the report compilers should provide statistics on the key import and export items of each province and city to help them make plans for developing their products and sectors.

This would also help investors choose their ideal investment destination, he pointed out. — VNS

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