Vietnam’s economic position in ASEAN

It is more than three weeks ahead of ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) establishment to open the market of ten Southeast Asian nations. Sai Gon Giai Phong cites some data to locate Vietnam in the region.

(Illustrative photo: SGGP)

According to the General Department of Vietnam Customs, export import turnover between Vietnam and ASEAN reached US$31.3 billion in the first nine months this year.
Of these, Vietnam’s export turnover hit US$13.7 billion accounting for 11.4 percent of total. Conversely, its import value neared US$17.6 billion.
At present, ASEAN is the third largest export market of Vietnam, after the U.S. and EU, and the third largest import market of the country after China and South Korea.
Last year export turnover was 21.5 times higher than that one in 1995 (accounting only over US$1 billion) when Vietnam joined in ASEAN with annual growth rate averaging 16.6 percent.
Vietnam has most exported to Malaysia with nearly 20 percent of the total export turnover to ASEAN, Singapore 18.34 percent, Thailand 17.65 percent, Indonesia 14.84 percent, Cambodia 15 percent, the Philippines 11 percent, Laos 3 percent and Myanmar 2 percent, Don Timor 0.26 percent and Brunei 0.2 percent.
The country eyes much export potential to nations in the region as it has held a small part in the total import turnover of each nation, 3.5 percent of the Philippines, 2.9 percent of Indonesia, 1.9 percent of Malaysia and 1.4 percent of Thailand.
Calculations by the Ministry of Industry and Trade shows that Vietnam sees trade surplus with five ASEAN nations including Cambodia, the Philippines, Indonesia, Myanmar and Don Timor and trade deficit with five others namely Singapore, Thailand, Laos, Malaysia and Brunei.
The country had 2,632 valid foreign direct investment (FDI) projects by ASEAN investors at the end of June with total registered capital of US$54.6 billion.
Singapore took the lead with 1,428 projects and US$32.2 billion accounting for 61 percent of total FDI capital from the region. Malaysia had 499 projects with US$12.06 billion accounting for 22 percent, and Thailand invested in 392 projects with US$6.8 billion.
AEC establishment will create a common market with 630 million consumers, and total gross domestic product of nearly US$3 trillion a year. Goods, services, capital, technologies and skilled workers will freely move among member nations.
Mr. Luong Hoang Thai, head of the Multilateral Trade Policy Department under the Ministry of Industry and Trade, said that an advantage but also a challenge to Vietnamese firms because competition will be severer.
A study has showed that Vietnam’s labor productivity is much lower than Indonesia, the Philippines, Thailand, Malaysia and Singapore.
The origin rule will become a new barrier to replace tax barriers that will be removed after AEC is established.

By Thuy Hai – Translated by Hai Mien

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