Vietnam's foreign trade turnover is estimated to reach $732 billion this year, up 10% year-on-year, placing the country among the top economies with the highest trade revenues.
The data was released by the Ministry of Industry and Trade (MoIT) at a December 26 conference on the country's foreign trade performance this year.
|Overview of the meeting. Source: MoIT|
The country's exports increased by 10.5% to $371,500 million, with which the volume of business exceeded the $700,000 million mark for the first time. Of the total, 39 export commodities recorded revenues of more than US$1,000 million, four more than last year.
Manufacturing and processing continued to make up the largest proportion of export revenue, or 86% of the total.
In return, Vietnam imported goods and products worth $360.5 billion, up 8.5%. This resulted in a trade surplus of nearly $11 billion and is the country’s seventh consecutive year with a positive trade balance.
Industry and Trade Vice Minister Tran Quoc Khanh stated that the structure of Vietnamese exports continues to evolve in the right direction, with shipments of high-value-added processed and industrial products making up the majority, rather than raw materials.
“This helped Vietnamese goods and products to further integrate into the global value and production chains,” Khanh said.
Khanh, however, noted Vietnam’s export growth slowed down since the fourth quarter, due to declining orders and rising competitiveness in global trade.
“High costs of input materials and low demand from export markets have caused negative impacts on the country’s trade prospects,” he said.
Another issue raised by the MoIT’s representative was the dependence of Vietnam’s exports on the foreign-invested sectors, as they made up 74% of the total export turnover.
“The export capabilities of domestic firms, mostly small and medium-sized companies, remain limited,” Khanh added, referring to the slow progress in market diversification for farm produce and the low utilization rate of preferential treatment under free trade agreements that Vietnam is a part of.
At the conference, Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs Nguyen Minh Vu anticipated 2023 would pose a greater challenge due to the high inflationary pressure across countries.
“A likely economic downturn around the globe would no doubt impact consumer spending, especially in Vietnam’s major markets,” Vu noted.
In addition, trading partners are expected to tighten regulations related to environmental protection, giving priority to environmentally friendly products or products with higher quality and food safety standards.
"Customers will be more demanding, so local producers and exporters will have to improve their competitiveness," Vu said.
Anticipating a more challenging economic environment for the coming year, Deputy Minister Khanh of the Ministry of Industry and Trade stated that the industry is targeting 6% year-on-year export growth in 2023; the trade balance to remain positive, and retail and service revenues to increase by 8% to 9%.
In addition, the country's industrial production index is expected to increase by 8-9% and the share of manufacturing and processing in GDP is expected to stand at 25.5%.
Hanoi’s exports during the 11 months rose by 11.4% year on year to $15.4 billion, according to the municipal Statistics Office. Of which, the domestic sector made up a large proportion with $8.2 billion, up 7.6%, and the foreign-invested sector with $7.2 billion, up 16%. In return, Hanoi imported goods worth $37.3 billion during the period, up 18.5% year on year, as the domestic sector made up the lion’s share with $30.2 billion, up 22.3%, and their foreign peers with $7.1 billion, up 4.6%.
Next year, the city targets economic growth of 7%, a GRDP per capital of VND150 million ($6,294), and an export growth rate of 6%.
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