Vietnam’s export growth lowest in five years, misses target

Monday, 2015-12-28 17:48:35
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NDO - Vietnam’s export revenues increased by 8.1% in 2015 to an estimated US$162.4 billion, the lowest rate in the past five years, and missed the target of 10% growth, according to the General Statistics Office (GSO).

Le Minh Thuy from the GSO’s Trade and Service Statistics Department said lower-than-expected growth was primarily driven by shrinking prices of Vietnam’s key exports, which she said were down by 3.8% on average compared with the previous year.

Many commodities witnessed falls in both shipments and prices such as coffee, crude oil, coal, tea and seafood. In contrast, manufactured goods such as phones, computers and garments continued to maintain solid growth.

The foreign sector remained the driver of Vietnam’s export growth, accounting for more than 70% of revenues while domestic enterprises saw a 3.5% drop in their export turnover after five years of successive growth.

The United States was the largest buyer of Vietnamese goods at US$33.5 billion, followed by the EU, China and Japan.

In 2015 Vietnam’s imports were estimated at US$165.6 billion, leaving a trade deficit of US$3.2 billion.

According to the GSO, Vietnam’s imports from China accounted for the largest part of its total foreign purchases, estimated at 29% and up 13% against 2014. This year also saw strong import growth from the Republic of Korea and ASEAN countries.

Data showed a stark contrast between the domestic and foreign sectors when the former ran a trade deficit of US$20.3 billion while the latter posted a surplus of US$17.1 billion.

GSO General Director Nguyen Bich Lam said domestic enterprises were slow to react to trade liberalisation and would face tremendous pressure when the ASEAN Economic Community comes into effect on December 31.