|Increasing imports in the first half of January were attributed to high demand for imported goods on the eve of Tet (Lunar New Year).|
According to newly-released statistics by the General Department of Vietnam Customs, the country reaped US$9.2 billion from exports during the first two weeks of January, representing a slight drop of US$71 million on-year.
Imports meanwhile reached nearly US$10.2 billion in value, surging by US$646 million on-year.
Textiles, telephones and their components, computers, electronic items, and components topped the list of exports with each staple reaching over US$1 billion in value.
The trade deficit could primarily be attributed to a sharp drop in the number of telephone exports. The overseas shipments of telephones recorded only US$1.293 billion in the reviewed two weeks, a slide of over US$800 million on-year. In addition, computers, electronic products and components also suffered a slight decrease of nearly US$50 million.
Many insider experts blamed the increasing imports in the first half of January for high demand for imported goods on the eve of Tet (Lunar New Year).
Last week, the Ministry of Industry and Trade released a target of curbing the country’s trade deficit of US$3 billion during 2019.
The industry and trade sector has this year projected export growth to jump by 8 to 10% to US$265 billion. Imports are expected to total US$268 billion, up by 11.7%, thus leading to a trade deficit of an estimated US$3 billion.
The ministry also planned to further bolster the access that key domestic products could gain to regular and potential export markets. Priority will be given to purchasing machines, equipment, and manufacturing inputs that are not available within the domestic market while the import of luxurious items and those on sale in Vietnam will be kept under close watch.
Efforts will be maximized to tap into the advantages of valid free trade agreements (FTAs) as well as preparing for the effective implementation of new-generation FTAs.
Vietnam saw a trade surplus of US$2.52 billion in 2016, at the peak level since 2005, while the figure climbed to US$2.67 billion in 2017.
During the first 11 months of 2018, the country gained US$7.4 billion in trade surplus, according to the General Statistics Office of Vietnam.
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