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Vietnam secures positive trade balances with CPTPP nations
Ngoc Thuy 15:25, 2019/08/22
Positive results from Vietnam’s trade activities with members in the CPTPP indicated Vietnamese companies have better utilized preferential treatments from the deal, relieving pressure for Vietnam in dealing with a decline in exporting farm produce to China.
With the Comprehensive and Progressive Trans – Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) in place, Vietnam has now been able to secure positive trade balances with nations it previously had trade deficit with in the first seven months of 2019, according to the General Department of Vietnam Customs (GDVC). 
Trade activities between Vietnam and 10 CPTPP members. Source: GDVC.
Trade activities between Vietnam and 10 CPTPP members (unit: million USD). Source: GDVC 
Among the 10 CPTPP markets, Vietnam maintained a trade surplus with five at value from US$100 million or more. The country recorded the largest with Canada at US$1.65 billion, then with Mexico at US$1.23 billion, Japan at US$818 million, Chile at US$368 million and Peru at US$141 million, which are all higher than the respective figures last year. Notably, with Japan, Vietnam has turned its trade balance from a deficit of US$139 million in the seven months of 2018 to a large surplus of US$818 million.

In contrast to export slowdown, meager growth or import rise when opening up the market to China in 1991, Thailand in 1995 and South Korea in 2018, this time joining CPTPP, Vietnamese exports to the trade deal member countries is rising by 7.5%, even though the rise is smaller than the overall increase of Vietnamese export (at 7.8%).  

Vietnam’s total exports to 10 countries in the CPTPP saw an increase of US$ 1.56 billion year-on-year in the January – July period, including high jumps in markets such as Japan with US$1.01 billion, Canada with US$546 million and Mexico with US$290 million. 

Overall, Vietnam’s exports to CPTPP country members accounted for 15.4% of total exports. Among Vietnam’s 27 export markets worth more than US$1-billion, six are from the pact. 

Additionally, high growth in exports of the country’s agriculture – fishery – forestry to CPTPP members in the seven-month period has helped offset decline in Vietnam’s exporting those products to the Chinese market, while Vietnam’s imports from CPTPP markets declined 2.3% or US$503 million. 

Positive results from Vietnam’s trade activities with CPTPP members indicated Vietnamese companies have better utilized preferential treatments from the deal, relieving pressure for Vietnam in dealing with a decline in exporting agricultural products to China. 

Nevertheless, the GDVC noted there has been a shift from trade surplus to deficit with the Australian market, an increase in trade deficit with Brunei, as well as declines in exports to Australia and Malaysia by US$373 million and US$122 million, respectively. 
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