Vietnam set new records for total export revenue and trade surplus in 2017, with exports passing the US$400 billion threshold and a positive trade balance meeting the country’s $3 billion benchmark.
Workers are seen at a mobile phone factory in Bac Ninh Province, northern Vietnam. Photo: Tuoi Tre
Vietnam’s exports in 2017 topped $214.01 billion, a 21 percent jump from 2016, Dau Tu (Investment) newspaper reported on Wednesday, citing the latest official statistics released by Vietnam Customs.
Meanwhile, the Southeast Asian country’s total import turnover increased 21.2 percent from 2016 to reach $211.1 billion, contributing to a record-high trade surplus of $2.91 billion.
That number is proof that Vietnam’s trade initiatives are a step in the right direction, especially considering it smashed previous estimates of $2.7 billion for the country’s 2017 trade surplus and 2016’s surplus of $2.5 billion.
Foreign-invested companies comprised 65.52 percent, or $278.56 billion, of Vietnam’s total export turnover, according to Dau Tu, run by the Ministry of Planning and Investment.
Crude oil, which has long been the country’s top earner, was absent from the list of Vietnam’s ten biggest exports in 2017.
Mobile phones and parts topped the list with total exports worth $45.27 billion, followed by textiles and garments at $26.04 billion, computers and components at $25.94 billion, and footwear at $14.65 billion.
At a meeting in Hanoi on January 15 to kick-start the Ministry of Industry and Trade’s 2018 action plan, Minister Tran Tuan Anh lauded such strong performances, adding that each industry on the list surpassed all targets and expectations.
The minister underlined that Vietnam is continuously expanding its export markets and now ships to more than 200 markets across the globe.
It is estimated that 29 of these markets will post annual import turnovers of more than $1 billion from Vietnam, he added.
Speaking at the same event, Duong Duy Hung, head of the planning department under the ministry, attributed the healthy export results to the fact that Vietnam has entered free-trade agreements with a multitude of countries.
Exports to the ASEAN countries, for instance, rose 24.3 percent year on year to $21.7 billion, while revenue from China jumped 60.6 percent to $35.3 billion.
Vietnam has achieved all its economic targets for 2017, but that does not mean it is time for the country to cease its striving for better growth in 2018, Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc said Thursday.
Vietnam and Brunei were the only two auto markets among members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) to have turnover plunge this year, according to a report by the ASEAN Automotive Federation.