Dec 15, 2020 / 17:23

Vietnam trade surplus further expands to $20 billion in 11 months

Vietnam’s trade turnover is expected to hit $540 billion this year, marking a year-on-year increase of $23 billion.

Vietnam posted a trade surplus of US$754 million in November, further expanding the cumulative surplus in the 11-month period to US$20.06 billion from US$19.5 billion recorded one month earlier, according to the General Department of Vietnam Customs (GDVC).

The government-run General Statistics Office last month estimated a trade surplus of US$20.01 billion for the January-November period.

 Cargo handling at Hai Phong port. Photo: Cong Hung. 

In November, Vietnam recorded an export turnover of US$25 billion, down 7.4% month-on-month, while imports slightly increased by 1.5% to US$24.7 billion. 

Revenue of some of Vietnam’s major export staples soared in the second half of November compared to the first half. They included computers, electronic devices and parts with an increase of 21.1%; textile (31.9%); machinery, equipment and parts (14.1%); footwear (24.6%); and wooden products (29.4%); among others.

Vietnam’s external trade during the 11-month period rose 3.6% year-on-year or US$17.16 billion to US$489.88 billion. Of the sum, exports totaled US$254.97 billion, up 5.5% year-on-year, and imports reached US$234.91 billion, up 1.7%.

 Trade balance in the January - November period. Data: GDVC. Chart: Hai Yen. 

Foreign-invested companies recorded a trade value of US$333.46 billion during the period, up 9.5% year-on-year. This included $182.44 billion in exports, up 8.6% year-on-year, accounting for 71.6% of Vietnam’s export turnover; and US$151.02 billion in imports, up 10.6% and making up 64.3% of total imports. As such, they posted a trade surplus of US$31.42 billion.

Meanwhile, the domestic-invested sector recorded a trade value of US$156.42 billion, down 7% year-on-year.

Trade turnover set to exceed 2019 figure

The Ministry of Industry and Trade (MoIT) suggested Vietnam’s positive trade performance is thanks to a number of free trade agreements that the country is a part of, including the CPTPP and EVFTA.

“With such growth in export-import activities, there is a high chance that Vietnam’s trade turnover could soon hit US$540 billion for the whole year, US$23 billion higher than the figure in 2019,” stated the MoIT, adding this is an encouraging result amid the Covid-19 crisis.

Director of MoIT’s Agency of Foreign Trade Phan Van Chinh said the agency would continue to support local firms utilizing trade deals.

“Vietnamese companies should take advantage of preferential treatment from FTAs to gain competitiveness against their foreign peers,” he noted.

“The MoIT gives priority to administrative reform in creating utmost convenience for local trader to penetrate new markets in the quickest way possible,” Mr Chinh added.