31st Sea Games - Vietnam 2021 Covid-19 Pandemic
Dec 17, 2020 / 14:39

Vietnam trade gains significant achievements despite pandemic

In a difficult year amid the Covid-19 pandemic, exports remain a spotlight and lay a foundation for the economy to maintain its growth momentum coming into the next year.

While the Covid-19 pandemic continue to cause severe consequences on the economy as a whole and trade activities in particular, it could not stop Vietnam’s exports from attaining significant achievements.

 Vice Minister of Industry and Trade Do Thang Hai.

Vice Minister of Industry and Trade Do Thang Hai shared the view at the Vietnam Export Promotion Forum 2020 held on December 16.

As of the end of November, Vietnam’s trade turnover reached US$489.1 billion during the period, up 3.5% year-on-year. Of the sum, exports rose by 5.3% year-on-year to US$254.6 billion, and imports of US$234.5 billion, up 1.5%, resulting in an all time high trade surplus of US$20.1 billion.

Vietnam had 31 export items earning more than US$1 billion each in the first eleven months of 2020, accounting for 92% of total exports, and six grossing over US$10 billion, or 64.3%. On the other hand, 34 items were  imported with US$1 billion, or 89.4% of total.

It is estimated that Vietnam’s export turnover could reach US$267 billion for 2020, representing an increase of 1% against the previous year, while imports are estimated at US$260 billion, up 2.6%. This would result in a trade surplus of US$7 billion for the year.

 Overview of the forum. 

“In a difficult year amid the Covid-19 pandemic, exports remain a spotlight and lay a foundation for the economy to maintain its growth momentum coming into the next year,” stated Mr. Hai.

“As the pandemic is set to persist for a longer period, solutions are needed for Vietnam to ensure efficient utilization of free trade deals, including the EVFTA, CPTPP or RCEP, as well as to promote the Vietnamese brands globally,” he continued.

Market expansion key for sustainable trade

 Vu Ba Phu, head of the Trade Promotion Agency.

Vu Ba Phu, head of the Trade Promotion Agency under the Ministry of Industry and Trade (MoIT), said the agency plans to provide support for local traders in brand building and promoting e-commerce and IT application. 

“The idea is to help them enhance resilience against the Covid-19 pandemic,” Mr. Phu said.

For Vietnam to maintain export growth of 5-10% during the 2021-25 period, the MoIT expected trade promotion activities to focus on Vietnam’s key export products, including seafood, fruits, coffee, tea, cashew, rice, rubber, textile, footwear and wooden products, among others.

 “In addition to priority markets such as China, the US, EU, India, Japan, ASEAN, South Korea, Vietnam would look to penetrate new markets such as the Middle East or Africa,” he added.

 Swiss Ambassador to Vietnam Ivo Sieber.

Swiss Ambassador to Vietnam Ivo Sieber said market expansion holds significant role for Vietnam to further expand trade globally.

Mr. Sieber informed that the European Free Trade Association (EFTA), comprising Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland, is negotiating a trade deal with Vietnam.

Once completed, the deal can take trade relations between the two parties to a new level, Mr. Sieber said, adding he hopes the deal can be concluded next year on the occasion of 50th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between Vietnam and Switzerland.