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Upbeat export prospects for 2021

Upbeat export prospects for 2021 (source: freepik.com)

Vietnam has posted impressive export-import performance despite the health crisis, with Ho Chi Minh City, the northern province of Thai Nguyen, and the southern province of Binh Duong heralded as the top performers thanks to the inputs of both local and foreign businesses.

According to the General Department of Vietnam Customs, the total value of import and export by February 15 reached $74.15 billion, up 31.1 per cent – equivalent to an increase of $17.58 billion in absolute numbers compared to the same period in 2020. In which, the total import and export value of foreign-invested enterprises (FIEs) reached $53.03 billion, up 39.6 per cent on-year, and the figure for domestic enterprises was $21.13 billion, up 13.6 per cent on-year. Vietnam also witnessed a trade surplus of $2.76 billion from the beginning of this year to February 15

Mobile phones and spare parts held the first position ($7.84 billion) in the group of key export items of Vietnam, followed by computers, other electronic products, and components ($5.5 billion), and machinery and equipment ($4.4 billion). The export turnover of industrial products is mainly brought by well-known groups such as Samsung, Panasonic, and Formosa.

Ho Chi Minh City still claimed the top position of the list of the 10 localities with the highest export and import values. Meanwhile, thanks to the heavy investment of Samsung, Thai Nguyen province ranked the second, followed by Binh Duong and Dong Nai provinces, an industrial hub in southern Vietnam as the third and fourth position.

All well-performing provinces reported that although the COVID-19 pandemic has affected a number of industries, the industrial production value in February was still high compared to the same period last year. Some main industrial products have seen high output over the same period such as computers, electronic products, and components, packaging, clinker consumption, animal feed, apparel, and frozen seafood

According to the Ministry of Industry and Trade (MoIT), Vietnam has risen to become one of the leading countries with high global competitiveness. The country has formed a number of key industries for the economy in the form of oil and gas exploitation and processing; electronics, telecommunications, and IT; metallurgy, iron and steel; and textiles, garments, and footwear, which have created an important foundation for long-term growth, as well as promote the modernisation and industrialisation of the country.

Meanwhile, the country’s export of agro-forestry-fishery products has also encouraged bright spots despite the pandemic.

Tran Thanh Hai, deputy director of the MoIT’s Agency of Foreign Trade, said that achieving good export results in the context of COVID-19 has been possible partly because of free trade agreements (FTAs) and businesses making good use of them.

For instance, in 2020, the number of preferential C/O sets granted saw an increase of 9 per cent on-year, showing that enterprises and exported goods from Vietnam are gradually improving the rate of using preferential tariffs in markets with FTAs.

According to Hai, Vietnamese exports to some traditional markets have faced inevitable difficulties, but exports still maintain positive growth due to enterprises have taken advantage of the opportunity to boost exports to alternative markets.

The key solution deployed to promote import and export in 2021 typically gives priority to export promotion activities and export markets that are recovering as well as expanding export markets, according to Hai. Other strategies include making the most of the FTAs, and grasping market information and early warning signs of arising problems affecting Vietnam’s exports such as changes in policies of importing countries, technical barriers, and payment risks.

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