|Trucks carrying goods pass the Tan Thanh border gate in Lang Son province, which borders China (Photo: VNA)
In January, total trade turnover is estimated at 38.1 billion USD, down 12.9 percent year on year. It includes 19 billion USD worth of exports and 19.1 billion USD worth of imports, falling 14.3 percent and 11.3 percent, respectively.
As a result, the country experienced trade deficit in January, which contrasted with the surplus recorded in the same period last year, data of the ministry’s General Statistics Office showed.
The MoF said due to the 2019-nCoV outbreak, cross-border activities have been restricted and control measures will be stepped up in the time ahead to contain the epidemic.
Therefore, trading activities with China, a major trade partner of Vietnam, could face difficulties, and commodities traditionally shipped to China by road and small-scale cross-border channels like agricultural and aquatic products will suffer considerable impact in the short term.
In 2019, Vietnam’s exports to and imports from China reached 41.4 billion USD and 75.5 billion USD, respectively, accounting for 15.7 percent and 29.8 percent of its total exports and imports. About 84.5 trillion VND (3.6 billion USD) in tax was collected from Chinese-origin goods, equivalent to 24.2 percent of the customs sector’s revenue.
Given this, a prolonged epidemic could greatly impact production, trade and State budget revenue, the MoF noted, forecasting that some industries likely to be affected will include textile-garment, electronics and consumer goods manufacturing which have to rely on materials imported from China.
However, the ministry believes that the potential supply interruption is only temporary, and production activities in China could recover soon when the epidemic is controlled.