VIETNAM, January 11th –
Farmers in Nam Sách in the Hải Dương province process the locally grown carrots for export to Japan, Malaysia and the Middle East. Vietnam’s imports and exports hit a record nearly $ 670 billion in 2021, including a large contribution from agricultural products.— VNA / VNS Photo Vũ Sinh
HÀ NỘI – Although much of the economy was hit by the fourth wave of COVID-19 in 2021, Vietnam’s imports and exports hit a record high of nearly $ 670 billion, up nearly 23 percent from 2020.
This surge has made Vietnam one of the top 20 economies in terms of international trade.
The Minister of Industry and Trade Nguyễn Hồng Diên announced the data on Sunday at a meeting in Hà Nội. He said: “At the beginning of 2022, the retail industry set itself the goal of increasing export sales by 6 to 8 percent from 2021, while maintaining a trade surplus.”
In an annual review meeting, Diên said of total sales, exports reached $ 336.25 billion, up 19 percent, while the trade surplus was $ 4 billion. He said the industry had a successful year in exports despite a number of difficulties.
The minister said: “Việt Nam has had a trade surplus for the sixth year in a row.”
Deputy Minister of Industry and Trade Trần Quốc Khánh said export growth has exceeded the 4-5 percent target set by the National Assembly and the government.
Khánh said supplies of raw materials fell over the past year while exports of processed and industrial products increased; Processed products made up 86.24 percent of the export structure.
There has been growth in the markets with which Vietnam has signed Free Trade Agreements (FTA); China with 15 percent, the USA with 24.2 percent, the EU with 14 percent, ASEAN with 25.8 percent, the Republic of Korea with 15.8 percent, India 21 percent, New Zealand 42.5 percent and Australia 3.1 percent .
Minister Diên said the industrial and commercial sector had closed the year after overcoming difficulties with many goals that exceeded the plan. In detail, industrial production has continued to grow and has maintained a growth rate of almost 5 percent. The manufacturing industry grew by 6.37 percent and thus maintained its role as the growth engine of the entire industry, made positive contributions to economic growth, created jobs and ensured social security.
The oil and gas industry met all targets ahead of schedule and contributed the most to the budget, at 75.4 trillion VN. The coal industry has made efforts to overcome difficulties and has completed its target plan for 2021.
MoIT added that the electricity sector has successfully served socio-economic development and people’s daily lives by commissioning eight electricity projects with a total capacity of 4,350 MW and reducing electricity prices in the country.
At the meeting, the MoIT representative also recognized the increased dependency on the foreign direct investment sector compared to previous years. However, the added value of exports has not developed as expected, as the market diversification of some products was still slow and could not meet the standards and quality requirements of the markets. As a result, tariff preferences from free trade agreements are not used well.
The representative said: “Some agricultural products are too dependent on the neighboring market and there is always the potential risk of prolonged traffic jams at the border gate.”
While exports were a highlight last year, the export capacity of domestic companies, especially small and medium-sized enterprises, has not been high.
At the meeting, Deputy Prime Minister Lê Văn Thành expressed his appreciation to the Ministry of Industry and Trade (MoIT) for its role in addressing the challenges to achieve these strong results. He also pointed out the difficulties and limitations of the industry known as the slow implementation of the National Electricity Master Plan and National Energy Master Plan for 2021-2030 and a vision to 2050.
The Deputy Prime Minister Thành also mentioned that the MoIT should set the electricity price regulation mechanism, in particular the feed-in tariff for renewable energy projects, as well as the problem of electricity system regulation.
The Deputy Prime Minister said progress in the implementation of key projects by some corporations and companies is still slow and not meeting requirements. There are shortcomings in border trade management and the MoIT should improve the situation of smuggling, trade fraud, counterfeiting and counterfeit goods in Vietnam.
Thành stressed that MoIT should focus on directing and directing the construction and implementation of national electricity and energy master plans as these are of great importance.
He also urged the MoIT to focus on eliminating difficulties and improving production and business efficiency in the fields of energy, processing, manufacturing, chemicals, fertilizers and goods production such as textiles and leather, wood processing, agriculture, forestry and fishing industries focus.
The Deputy Prime Minister asked the MoIT to forecast national and international market developments, in particular import and export activities with unpredictable fluctuations.
At the same time, the department should promote exports and diversify markets and export goods, especially to new potential markets, as well as solve problems with customs clearance and prevent traffic jams at border gates, especially the border gates Vietnam – China. – VNS