Import-export activities likely to be vibrant over remainder of 2021: Expert

Bright prospects are likely to be seen in foreign trade over the rest of this year thanks to the effective and comprehensive implementation of free trade agreements (FTAs) and rising prices for strong export products of Vietnam.

Deputy Director of the Ministry of Industry and Trade (MoIT)'s Agency for Foreign Trade Tran Thanh Hai.

Hai noted that demand in the global market has been recovering along with the gradual easing of lockdown measures in the US and Europe, which presents an opportunity for Vietnam to promote its exports.

However, he advised exporters to bolster their competitiveness and adaptive capacity in order to overcome the difficulties posed by the ongoing fourth COVID-19 outbreak in Vietnam, while actively adjusting their business strategy to seize opportunities in the new circumstances.

He asked MoIT agencies and Vietnamese Trade Offices abroad to provide up-to-date information on the COVID-19 situation in their host countries and propose measures to expand export markets, while supporting Vietnamese firms seeking input sources for production.

He said the MoIT is working with the Ministry of Transport and the Vietnam Logistics Business Association as well as shipping firms to provide consultancy to exporters on dealing with logistics issues.

In the first five months of 2021, despite the impact of COVID-19 on industrial parks in the northern industrial hubs of Bac Giang and Bac Ninh, Vietnam still posted a year-on-year increase of 30.7% in export revenue, to US$130.94 billion.

Of this, the domestic sector contributed US$33.06 billion and the FDI sector (including crude oil) US$97.88 billion, increases of 16.6% and 36.3% year-on-year, respectively.

During the period, 22 products recorded export value of over US$1 billion each and together accounted for 87.3% of Vietnam’s total exports.

Exports by the group of heavy industrial goods and minerals reeled in some US$70.7 billion, up 33% against the same period last year.

It was followed by the groups of light industrial goods and handicrafts, at US$47.32 billion (up 33%), and agricultural and forestry products, at US$9.69 billion (up 13.5%). The group of aquatic products posted US$3.24 billion in export revenue, an annual increase of 12%.

The US remained Vietnam’s largest export market, outlaying US$37.6 billion on imports from the country, a year-on-year rise of 49.8%. China followed with US$20.1 billion, up 26%, then the EU and ASEAN, with US$16.1 billion and US$11.5 billion, increases of 20.8% and 23.7%, respectively.

In May alone, Vietnam’s exports were valued at US$26 billion, down 2.1% against April but up 35.6% year-on-year.

Meanwhile, the country’s imports in the five-month period hit US$131.31 billion, for annual growth of 36.4%, with China the country’s largest source market.