The Hanoitimes - Strong export growth is expected to lead to a trade surplus of US$2 billion for the entire year, according to the Ministry of Industry and Trade (MoIT).
Vietnam's export turnover in 2018 is projected to reach US$237 - 239 billion, up 10 - 12% year-on-year, resulting in a trade surplus of US$2 billion, the Cong Thuong newspaper reported.
The MoIT attributed the growth of Vietnam's exports in the remaining months of the year to global economic growth. Additionally, import tariffs will gradually be reduced to 0% due to countries' commitments to free trade agreements, in turn making Vietnamese products more competitive.
According to the MoIT, the government has been stepping up efforts to improve the business environment and enhance the economy's competitiveness, which are considered an important factor for higher exports.
Nguyen Thi Mai Linh of the MoIT's Import - Export Department said that the US Department of Commerce (DOC) has decided to lower import tariffs against Vietnam's catfish and shrimp. The decision would be vital to facilitate the export of Vietnam's fishery products to the US, especially shrimp and catfish in the 2018 - 2019 period, she added.
However, Vietnam's exports also face challenges from the growing protectionism and trade barriers. The MoIT will closely monitor the US - China trade friction to minimize its impacts to Vietnam's trade activities, it said.
Vietnam's exports in the first nine months of 2018 reached US$178.91 billion, up 15.4% year-on-year, of which the domestic sector contributed US$51.08 billion, up 17.5%, and the FDI sector (including crude oil) US$127.84 billion, up 14.6%.
Meanwhile, Vietnam imported goods worth US$173.52 billion, up 11.8% year-on-year.
This resulted in a trade surplus of US$5.39 billion in the January - September period, of which the FDI sector witnessed a trade surplus of US$23.65 billion, and domestic enterprises with trade deficit of US$18.26 billion.
Manufacturing and processing industry continued to be the driving force of Vietnam's exports with smartphones being the largest contributor.
The country's export turnover reached a record high of over US$21 billion in March (US$21.13 billion) and August (US$23.48 billion), largely thanks to export value of over US$5 billion of smartphones in those two months.
Moreover, other export products such as textile, footwear, and wood also experienced positive growth.