(VEN) – The balance of Vietnam’s trade with China has recorded positive change. The Ministry of Industry and Trade (MoIT) plans various additional measures to promote exports and thereby gradually reduce the trade deficit with this market.
Over the past 14 years, China has been Vietnam’s largest trading partner and second largest export market, after the US. For its part, Vietnam ranks eighth among China’s trading partners and is the largest among those in ASEAN. Bilateral trade value reached US$93.7 billion in 2017, a rise of 30.2 percent compared with 2016. This included US$35.5 billion worth of Vietnamese exports to China and US$58.2 billion worth of imports from this market.
Vietnam exports to China mostly agricultural, forest and aquatic products, minerals, fuels and processing industry-related products, while major imports include machinery, equipment and spare parts, fabrics, fibers, cotton, iron, steel, electronic products and components, fertilizer and chemicals.
Vietnam has posted a continuous trade deficit with China. However, both countries have taken measures to deal with the bilateral trade imbalance, which have yielded positive results.
In 2016 and 2017, Vietnam’s trade deficit with China decreased by an average of more than 16.1 percent per year. The deficit dropped 29.7 percent from US$32.4 billion in 2015 to US$22.8 billion in 2017. Last year, Vietnamese exports to China grew 61.5 percent compared with 2016, while imports grew a mere 16 percent. In the first quarter of 2018, the trade deficit declined by 15.5 percent compared with the same period last year.
The MoIT says it will continue coordinating with other ministries and departments to disseminate information about commitments under the ASEAN-China Free Trade Agreement and commitments with the World Trade Organization. It will also make available information about bilateral trade deals between Vietnam and China, and information about the market, goods and merchants, for associations, sectors and businesses to take the initiative in export activities.
A variety of Vietnamese agricultural products sells well in the Chinese market, but customers are unaware of their origin. Therefore, along with creating opportunities for businesses to meet each other and participate in fairs/exhibitions, it is necessary to work out brand promotion programs to introduce Vietnamese agricultural products through Chinese media, the internet and events organized by Vietnamese representatives in China. Domestic businesses should take advantage of Chinese preferential policies applied in Vietnamese border localities to promote exports. Logistics centers should be built at border crossing areas.
Nguyen Quoc Hai, Deputy Director of Lang Son Province Industry and Trade Department:
In the first half of 2018, US$2.43 billion worth of goods were traded between Vietnam and China via border crossings
in Lang Son Province, a five percent increase compared with the same period last year.