As strict restrictions have been in place in many localities throughout the country, such figures demonstrate the strong efforts of the business community.
According to the Ministry of Industry and Trade (MOIT), manufacturing maintained its leading role, accounting for 86.27% of total export revenue. During the January-September period, the sector’s exports brought in US$207.5 billion, up 20.8% year-on-year.
Major contributors included steel and iron, machinery and equipment, computers, smartphones and electronic devices. Other goods such timber, garment and footwear saw decreases in volume but rises in value, indicating a positive shift to higher-value goods.
Another bright spot was the return of trade surplus, standing at US$500 million in September after the continuous deficit since April. However, Vietnam still recorded a trade gap of US$2.03 billion during the nine-month period, compared to a surplus of US$16.66 billion last year.
“When compared to the nine-month export revenue of US$242.65 billion, the gap is equivalent to 0.8%, which is not too big, and there are still three months to improve the situation”, said Tran Thanh Hai, Deputy Head of the MOIT’s Agency for Foreign Trade.
He added that if there are no major deteriorations in the virus situation until the end of the year, enterprises, especially those in the south will regain the growth momentum and Vietnam will be able to achieve a trade balance or even a surplus.
According to MOIT Deputy Minister Do Thang Hai, Vietnam’s export activities have some favourable conditions when Vietnam is taking advantage of free trade agreements effectively and the demand is growing at the year-end shopping season. Vietnam’s exports are expected to grow by more than 10% in 2021, higher than the target set by the National Assembly.
However, the epidemic remains complicated in Ho Chi Minh City and southern provinces, with many enterprises still struggling with production and export.
The MOIT is working on measures to reinforce and expand export markets, firstly capitalising on the recovery of the US and European markets to promote Vietnamese strengths, such as garments, footwear, electronics, timber products and seafood, for the year-end shopping season.
In addition, the ministry is renovating its trade promotion activities through online channels and new platforms so as to export agricultural products to South Asia while also ensuring stable exports to established markets such as China, Japan and the Republic of Korea. The MOIT is also stepping up efforts to develop further and more demanding markets such as Europe, the US and Australia as well as those with plenty of room for growth in East Europe, North Europe and Latin America.