Vietnam has achieved a trade surplus of US$284 million this year after 20 years of running in deficit, according to a report released by the General Statistics Office yesterday.
Export turnover for the year totaled $114.631 billion, an increase of 18.3 percent over last year while import revenue reached $114.347 billion, a rise of 7.1 percent.
The previous trade surplus recorded was in 1992 at $100 million.
The trade surplus was attributed to the high growth rate of exports which nearly doubled the goal set by the National Assembly, while import growth rate was three times lower.
Vietnam managed to maintain exports to traditional markets such as Europe, even though the global economy was faltering.
The European market became the leading export market for Vietnam this year with turnover of $20.3 billion, up 25 percent over last year; followed by the US at $19.6 billion, up 15.6 percent; Southeast Asia at $17.2 billion, up 27.1 percent; and Japan at $13 billion, up 21.4 percent.
Statistics also show that Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) saw high growth of $72.298 billion in export revenue, accounting for more than 63 percent of the country’s total figure and an increase by 31.2 percent over last year, while export value from the domestic sector was $42.333 billion, up only 1.32 percent.
There were 19 out of 29 export commodities of Vietnam that reported revenues ranging from $1.5 billion to more than $15 billion, including garments and textiles at $15.35 billion, up 7.1 percent; phones and components at $12.644 billion, up 97.7 percent; computers and electronics at $7.882 billion, up 69.1 percent; and crude oil at $8.4 billion, up 15.9 percent.
Some products saw a decline in exports, such as rubber-down 12.6 percent in value, and coal-down 22.8 percent.
Imports steadied with a low growth rate of 7.1 percent, with 15 out of 30 import commodities seeing a decline compared with last year, like automobiles-down 32.5 percent, and animal and vegetable oil-down 21.9 percent.
Petrol and oil imports fell the most to $8.894 billion and 9.119 million tons, decreasing 10 percent and 14.6 percent, respectively.
Liquefied petroleum gas, rubber and fertilizers were among those to report a decrease in imports, while imports of electronic products, computers and components rose 66.8 percent to reach a turnover of $13.98 billion, vehicles 43.9 percent and fabric 4.7 percent.
Total imports of the domestic sector reached $54.9 billion, a decline of 6.7 percent over last year, while the FDI sector totaled $60.338 billion, an increase of 23.5 percent.
China remained Vietnam’s biggest import market, with turnover of $28.9 billion compared to export of $12.2 billion.