According to data from the General Department of Customs, the country’s export and import turnover in the month inched up 0.8 percent month-on-month to $37.9 billion, of which export value made up $19.4 billion, up 0.3 percent.
With the October’s results, Vietnam’s trade revenue in the first ten months of the year surged 21.3 percent to $346.22 billion. Of the total, export earnings contributed $173.72 billion, up 20.7 percent, and import value represented $172.49 billion, up 22 percent.
Phones and components remained among Vietnam’s major foreign currency earners in October with $5 billion, up 3.1 percent against last month. Revenue of the products made up $36.54 billion in the country’s total export turnover, up 28.8 per cent year-on-year.
Exports fetched $173.72 billion in the first ten months, up 20.7 percent year-on-year.
However, computers, electronic products and components also the country’s main import staple in the ten month period with $30.92 billion, a 35.3 percent rise against the same period last year.
The ten months also saw the country to spend $27.98 billion for imports of machines and equipment, increasing 23.1 percent year-on-year.
Vietnam targeted a new record of $200 billion in total export value for 2017, a year-on-year increase of 13 per cent.
Officials said Vietnam’s export value would have high growth potential this year because the country has advantages in exporting certain key products, such as farming products, seafood, telephone components and garments. The most important aspect is that local exporters must reform themselves and make use of good opportunities in export markets around the world.
For example, in terms of market structure, the United States has maintained its position as the largest export market for Vietnamese goods. However, according to the Ministry of Industry and Trade, local exporters’ greatest challenge in exporting their goods to this market is technical barriers, with strict standards for quality and food safety.
The barriers include regulations on inspections for pesticide residue in rice and regulations on testing for chemical and antibiotics residue in fisheries or catfish. These barriers have had a considerable impact on Vietnamese farming and seafood exports in recent years.
The same move has been seen in other important export markets, such as Japan, South Korea and the EU.
Therefore, the Ministry of Industry and Trade (MoIT) said, for the long term, enterprises processing and producing goods for export should improve their competitiveness and the quality of their products to meet food-safety standards to maintain and expand their market share at the markets.
Meanwhile, ASEAN members and China are expected to continue being Vietnam’s key export markets. ASEAN has imported a large volume of Vietnamese goods, but Vietnam has faced difficulties in exporting its goods to this region due to the structural similarity of the exported goods.
The ministry said local enterprises would need to improve their production and processing capacity as well as their competitiveness in terms of quality and price to further penetrate the ASEAN market. In addition, they must take advantage of their geographic distance to reduce transportation costs and delivery time.
MoIT Trade Tran Tuan Anh has also urged relevant authorities to address the tax and fee problems for businesses to help them cut costs, ensure market development and promote efficient competition, leading to growth in production. In particular, the state agencies should promote export market development and take advantage of free trade agreements to address technical barriers in global markets.