VN trade deficit hits $2.13b

Wednesday, Aug 30, 2017 09:01

Workers made clothes for export at Hoan Vinh Textile Garment Company Limited in the southern province of Tien Giang’s Chau Thanh District. - VNA/VNS Photo Nam Thai

Viet Nam’s trade deficit was estimated at US$2.13 billion in the first eight months of the year, $950 million lower than the figure of $3.08 billion in the first seven months, according to the General Statistics Office (GSO).

This office said this was the lowest level since April, attributing the decrease to increasing export activities in recent months.

Import turnover during the first eight months jumped by 22.3 per cent year-on-year to $135.6 billion, with imports by the domestic sector touching $54.24 billion, an 18.4 per cent increase, while those of the foreign-invested sector were $81.39 billion, an increase of 25 per cent.

Import value registered a year-on-year surge of 33.5 per cent for machines, equipment, tools and components to reach $21.4 billion, 33.3 per cent for telephone and its components to reach $8.7 billion, 24.8 per cent for electronic products, computer and their components to reach $22.1 billion and 16.3 per cent for steel to reach $5.9 billion.

China still accounted for the largest share of Viet Nam’s imports at $36.4 billion, a year-on-year surge of 14.7 per cent. The Republic of Korea and ASEAN were second and third with $30.2 billion and $18.1 billion, respectively.

Meanwhile, export turnover in the eight months rose 17.9 per cent year-on-year to $133.5 billion. Of the figure, exports by the domestic sector hit $37.8 billion, a 15.7 per cent increase, while those of the foreign-invested sector reached $95.6 billion, up 18.9 per cent.

The first eight months of 2017 saw strong growth of Viet Nam’s main exports, with phones and components up 14.8 per cent to $26 billion, garments up 7.2 per cent to $17 billion, footwear up 13 per cent to $9.6 billion, seafood up 19.2 per cent to $5.2 billion, wood and wooden products up 10.6 per cent to $4.9 billion and vegetable and fruit up 48 per cent to $2.3 billion.

The US remained the largest consumer of Vietnamese goods at $27.2 billion, followed by the EU and China at $24.7 billion and $18.3 billion, respectively.

New tax regulations

The Ministry of Finance (MoF) recently announced a draft decree on import and export tax, the list of goods, absolute tax rates, mixed tax, and import tax instead of quotas, coming into effect from January 1, 2018.

The new draft will make many changes in the rate of import tax and export tax for certain goods.

Under the decree, export tax for round timber will rise from 10 to 25 per cent and sawn wood and chipped wood up from 10 and 20 per cent, respectively, to 25 per cent.

Five items’ export tax will fall, including aluminum extruded rod, bar and hex products (down from 7 to 5 per cent); unprocessed aluminum bars (down from 10 to 5 per cent), processed iron ore (down from 40 to 20 per cent), slag (down from 10 to 5 per cent) and copper rods, bars and hex products (down from 10 to 5 per cent).

The draft also changes import tax rates for 17 categories of goods. However, according to the Tax Policy Department under the MoF, due to an inability to estimate the import value of these commodities separately, the specific re-adjustment of import tax for these items can’t be calculated.

The MoF expects to collect an additional VND984 billion in budget revenue due to the tax rate changes. — VNS

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