Wednesday, December 19, 2007

10 outstanding features of Vietnam’s foreign trade in 2007


11:23' 18/12/2007 (GMT+7)

VietNamNet Bridge – The Vietnam Trade Promotion Agency (Vietrade) under the Ministry of Industry and Trade has pointed out the 10 most outstanding features of Vietnam’s foreign trade in 2007.

The turnover from coffee exports has exceeded the turnover from rice exports
Vietnam is expected to gain the total export turnover of $48bil this year, an increase of 20.5% over 2006. Meanwhile, the estimated import turnover is $59bil, up by 31% over 2006.

There are 10 outstanding features in import-export activities as follows:

1. There was a sharp contrast in exports in the first half of the year compared to the second half. The first half was considered a difficult period, when the export turnover was $3.74bil a month, while the second half saw a breakthrough, when the average monthly export turnover was $4.26bil.

2. The exports of key export items were very satisfactory. Nine items saw the export turnover higher than $1bil, four of which had the turnover of more than $3bil, two items had the turnover of more than $2bil.

This is for the second consecutive year, apparel exports can bring the second highest turnover, after crude oil. Wooden furniture ranks the 5th among the biggest export items. Vietnam has surpassed Thailand and Indonesia to become the biggest wooden furniture exporter in South East Asia, together with Malaysia.

Vietnam has fulfilled the yearly plan in rice export. Vietnam’s rice is now being exported at the prices equal to Thailand’s.

Vietnam’s rice has been exported to more than 70 countries and territories, including the difficult-to-please US, Japan and the EU.

The turnover from coffee exports has exceeded the turnover from rice exports. Seafood exports are satisfactory. Vietnam remains the biggest cashew nut exporter in the world, when its products are being consumed by 40 markets. The country holds up to 50% of the world’s pepper market and witnesses a very satisfactory year when the export price is double the previous year ($3,760/tonne vs $1,540).

3. Vietnam now can export valuable products. For the first time, Vietnam exported the equipments for steam-boiler which Russian TKZ group used to assemble the power plant in India. The Maritime Mechanics Service Company launched at Vung Tau port the oil rig serving oil and gas exploitation, which was then exported to Malaysia.

4. Vietnam has been trying to diversify its export items. It exports $300mil worth of cassava starch, higher than the turnover brought about by key products including tea, peanut, fruits and vegetables.

5. 2007 is the first year which witnesses the considerable growth rate in domestic invested enterprises’ export (23.1%).

6. Key economic centres keep leading in export. HCM City remains the No 1 in exports with $6bil worth of exports. Hanoi’s export turnover is expected to exceed the $4bil level, while Binh Duong exceeded $5bil.

7. Hundreds of exhibitions and trade fairs have been organized, which helped introduce Vietnam-made products to the world. Vietnamese enterprises participated in well known trade fairs abroad, including the one on wooden furniture in the US, on seafood in Europe, and the 4th CAEXPPO in Nan Ning, China.

8. Despite the high trade deficit, the payment balance is still within control. There are four reasons behind the increased imports: a) the national economy maintains high growth with high foreign investments; b) import material price increases; c) the export growth rate is lower than import growth rate (20.5% vs 31%); d) the effect from tax cuts and higher consumer demand.

9. Management authorities show shortcomings in material import management. The authorities disagree on whether to allow the importing of consignments of scrap steel.

10. Enterprises keep complaining about complicated import-export procedures. Statistics showed that every year, every enterprise has to spend 1,959.2 hours to fulfill tax duties. Directors of a company asked to be jailed, while another director asked to be shot, because they are on the verge of bankruptcy due to tax refund delays.