The annual export value is predicted to grow six percent
Eight-month exports grow 5.5 percent
According to the General Statistics Office of Vietnam, the export value of goods in August reached an estimated US$15.2 billion, up two percent compared with July. In the first eight months, Vietnam exported an estimated US$112.19 billion worth of goods, up 5.5 percent compared with the same period last year, much lower compared with the 10 percent growth target set by the National Assembly (the export value of domestic businesses reached US$32.62 billion, up four percent; and that of foreign invested businesses, including crude oil, reached US$79.57 billion, up 6.1 percent).
Based on its analyses, the MoIT attributed this low export growth mostly to strong decreases in export prices, especially fuels and minerals, and unsatisfactory export results of businesses in the processing industry. Moreover, the export value of agricultural, forest and aquatic products, which often make the brightest part of the export picture, grew only four or five percent.
Fruit and vegetable exports brought satisfactory results in early months of this year
Phan Van Chinh, Director of the Agency of Foreign Trade under the MoIT, said, “Since the beginning of this year, the export value of fuels and minerals has dropped by 40 percent. The export value of processing industry-related products such as telephones, textiles and garments, leather and footwear, which are considered the driving force of export growth, has grown a mere eight percent, lower than the growth of previous years. Based on these results, the Agency of Foreign Trade predicted that the export growth would reach only six percent in 2016.”
Although the growth of Vietnamese exports in early months of this year was below the desired target, it could be said to be satisfactory compared with the negative export growth of other countries in the region such as China, Indonesia, and Malaysia.
In the first eight months of 2016, the US remained Vietnam’s largest export market with the export value reaching US$24.6 billion, up 13 percent compared with the same period last year. The EU ranked second with US$21.9 billion, up 8.8 percent, followed by China US$12.6 billion, up 15 percent; Japan US$9.3 billion, up 0.2 percent; and the Republic of Korea US$7 billion, up 30.7 percent. Meanwhile, exports to ASEAN dropped 10 percent to US$11.1 billion, due to a strong decline in crude oil exports to this market.
The export growth has contributed to Vietnam’s continuous trade surplus since the beginning of this year, which reached US$2.45 billion in the first eight months.Solutions to achieve export target
According to the Agency of Foreign Trade, it is not easy to meet the 10 percent annual export growth target set for this year. Numerous difficulties are facing key export sectors such as rice, computers, telephones and components due to decreases in market demand and oversupplies.
To deal with export difficulties, the MoIT has requested the government to apply suitable tax and lending policies to export businesses. The Government Office recently issued Official Letter 6817/VPCP-KTTH regarding measures to promote exports towards the year’s end. The official letter indicates that the Planning and Investment, Finance, Labor, Invalids and Social Affairs, Science and Technology, Transport, Agriculture and Rural Development, Information and Communications, and Foreign Affairs Ministries, and the State Bank of Vietnam are responsible for dealing with the MoIT’s request and providing guidance for associations and businesses to implement these policies.
The provision of market information and trade promotion activities will be intensified from now until the year’s end to boost exports to traditional and potential markets. At the same time, administrative reform will be accelerated. Hotlines will be established for the Agency of Foreign Trade to deal with export difficulties as quickly as possible, Minister of Industry and Trade Tran Tuan Anh said.
The MoIT has organized many activities promoting exports to major markets. In September, it organized an event to support the presence of Vietnamese goods into Japanese AEON retail chains, the 2016 Hanoi Goods Week in Moscow, and sent a business delegation to participate in the 13th China-ASEAN Expo (CAEXPO 2016). These events attracted great attention of local consumers and are expected to strengthen the global reputation of Vietnamese goods.