Viet Nam saw strong import-export recovery in the first quarter, estimated at US$152.65 billion, up 24.1 per cent year-on-year, said an industry and trade official.
Tran Thanh Hai, deputy director of the Agency of Foreign Trade under the Ministry of Industry and Trade, said: "Viet Nam has been making good use of the new-generation FTAs that have taken effect, such as the EU-Viet Nam Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA), the UK-Viet Nam Free Trade Agreement (UKVFTA) and the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP)."
The country saw exports jump by 22 per cent year-on-year in the first quarter, according to Hai.
He said that exporters should continue to innovate and improve production to take advantage of the new-generation FTAs.
The Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) is also about to take effect, which will help to boost exports as well, he noted.
Prior to the EVFTA taking effect in June 2020, exports to the EU market were $29.44 billion in the first three quarters of 2020, down 4.7 per cent over the same period in 2019.
But only three months after the EVFTA took effect, exports to the EU market reached $11.08 billion, up 5 per cent over the same period in 2019.
As of the end of 2020, exports to the EU market had reached $40.05 billion, according to Hai.
In the first quarter, electronic products, electric appliances and furniture benefitted the most from increased demand from European and North American markets, he said. However, footwear as well as garment and textile exports faced challenges caused by the disruption of supply chains.
Nguyen Van Thoi, chairman of TNG Investment and Trading Joint Stock Company, said the company had revenue of VND326 billion in March, a rise of more than 28 per cent over the same period last year, bringing total revenue in the first quarter to VND910 billion, up 18 per cent against the same period last year.
The company has export orders that continue until the end of July. To prepare for the production of exports, TNG will establish an outsourcing development branch in the northern city of Thai Nguyen, he said.
The wood industry also saw an increase in export orders. In the first three months, exports of wood and wooden products were estimated at $3.7 billion, up 41.5 per cent over the same period last year.
Do Xuan Lap, chairman of the Viet Nam Timber and Forest Products Association, said that many wood businesses have full export orders until the end of 2021.
As for the UKVFTA, which took effect on January 1, Vietnamese exports to the UK market reached $1.6 billion in the first quarter, up 22 per cent year-on-year.
Viet Nam has signed 15 FTAs , 14 of which are under implementation. One has not taken effect and two are under negotiation.
Among the 15 signed FTAs, there are three new-generation FTAs, the CPTPP, EVFTA and UKVFTA, according to the Ministry of Industry and Trade.
The country's exports increased 22 per cent to reach $77.34 billion in the first quarter, while the trade surplus was estimated at $2.03 billion, according to the General Statistics Office.
The total merchandise import-export turnover in the first quarter reached $152.65 billion, up 24.1 per cent over the same period last year. While exports reached $77.34 billion, imports rose to $75.31 billion, up 26.3 per cent.
In the first quarter, there were 11 items with export turnover of more than $1 billion, accounting for 76.6 per cent of the total export turnover. They included four items with export turnover of over $5 billion, accounting for 54.7 per cent.
The production expectation in the second quarter is more positive, as there was an increase of 27.5 per cent in registered capital at VND447.8 trillion ($19.46 billion) in the first quarter, according to the General Statistics Office.
A survey of business trends of enterprises in the manufacturing and processing industries showed that enterprises expect their production and business in the second quarter to be better than the first quarter. — VNS
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