They said three quarters of 2018 have passed with positive export outcomes, creating momentum for the country to record a trade surplus for the year. Notably, the number of goods orders often rises strongly in the last months of the year, so overseas shipments are likely to hit a new record.
According to the Department of Export and Import under the Ministry of Industry and Trade (MoIT), export turnover between January and September reached US$178.91 billion, up 15.4% year on year.
The domestic sector shipped US$51.07 billion worth of goods abroad while foreign-invested firms contributed US$127.84 billion to the total exports.
Twenty-six commodities recorded export revenue of more than US$1 billion in the period, and five of them had exports topping US$10 billion, including phones and accessories (US$36.1 billion), textiles and garments (US$22.6 billion), and electronic products, computers and components (US$21.6 billion).
Meanwhile, Vietnam imported US$173.52 billion worth of goods in the period, up 11.8% from a year earlier. That included US$69.34 billion by domestic businesses and US$104.18 billion by foreign firms.
Three of the 30 commodities with import revenue in excess of US$1 billion recorded turnover above US$10 billion, statistics showed.
As a result, the country enjoyed a trade surplus of US$5.39 billion. While the domestic sector had a deficit of US$18.26 billion, the foreign invested sector posted a surplus of US$23.62 billion.
Regarding the exports in the remainder of the year, Duong Duy Hung, Director of the MoIT’s Department of Planning, said the US-China trade friction has yet to harm Vietnam’s export growth over the past months. However, in the long term, political and trade tensions among big economies pose major challenges to exports.
Officials said three months is not a long period, so the MoIT will monitor the world situation, especially the US-China trade war, to take measures to promote exports and prevent trade fraud.
Trade promotion needs to be reformed to focus on long-term programmes promoting certain commodities and markets until concrete outcomes are gained, instead of just year-long campaigns.
Experts also said the MoIT should connect Vietnamese exporters of agricultural and fishery products with Chinese importers to boost cross-border shipments, especially of the goods Vietnam is strong at and China has high demand for like fruit, aquatic products, rice and coffee.