VN toasts trade surplus with Japan

Thursday, Jan 09, 2014 08:50

Workers at Thai Nguyen Investment and Trade Company produce garment products for export to the US, Japan and Europe. Bilateral trade between Viet Nam and Japan reached nearly US$23 billion last year. — VNA/VNS Photo Hoang Hung

HA NOI (Biz Hub) — Viet Nam saw a trade surplus of nearly US$1.8 billion from exports to Japan last year, according to statistics compiled by the General Department of Customs.

The bilateral trade between the two countries reached nearly US$23 billion, of which Viet Nam's exports to Japan accounted for $12.37 billion.

For the past few years, the two countries have maintained a high growth rate for bilateral trade, and Viet Nam has achieved a trade surplus for several consecutive years.

Trade between Viet Nam and Japan achieved high growth rates of about 17 per cent per year on average during the 2005-12 period, the department reported. Bilateral trade had nearly doubled from $8.5 billion in 2005 to $24.7 billion in 2012.

In recent years, the trade balance between the two countries has typically leaned towards Viet Nam. In 2011, Viet Nam enjoyed a trade surplus of $0.4 billion; this figure then rose to $1.5 billion in 2012 and $1.8 billion by November 2013.

Viet Nam's key exported commodities to Japan include textiles, oil, transport vehicles and their parts, machinery equipment and their parts, seafood, wood and wood products, plastic products, computers, and electronic products and components. Currently, Vietnamese textile exports to the Japanese market are favoured with a preferential tax rate of zero per cent.

Alternatively, Vietnamese imports from Japan were mainly machinery equipment and their parts, computers, electronic products and components, steel and steel products, raw materials for the textile and footwear industries, and plastic products; these five groups in total reached a value of $7.62 billion, accounting for 73 per cent of all Vietnamese imports to Japan.

Four years after inking the Viet Nam-Japan Economic Partnership Agreements (VJEPA), many Vietnamese export businesses have effectively exploited the advantages of preferential tariffs to boost exports to the Japanese market.

However, in order to enhance the share of Viet Nam's goods in this difficult market, exporting companies must study the market for a better understanding of the commitments of the free trade agreements. They must also be prepared to face the various challenges of meeting high technical standards, especially in overcoming the strict barriers against food products in the Japanese market. — VNS

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