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China Vietnam's largest export market in January

Released at: 15:44, 24/02/2018

China Vietnam's largest export market in January

Photo: VNA

Northern neighbor overtakes US in first month of new year, with imports from Vietnam rising 106%.

by Quang Huy

China overtook the US to become Vietnam’s largest export market in January, the General Department of Vietnam Customs said on January 23.

Vietnam exported roughly $3.7 billion worth of goods to its northern neighbor in the month, up 106 per cent against January 2017.

Nearly $895 million was phones and components, a 19-fold increase year-on-year, while some $691 million was computers, electronic appliances, and components, up 80.1 per cent, and $296.3 million was fruit and vegetables, up 68.6 per cent.

The main reason behind the strong growth was the scheduled commitments within the ASEAN-China Free Trade Area (ACFTA) framework. A further 588 tariff lines between Vietnam and China were cut to zero per cent from January 1, bringing the number to 8,571, or 90.3 per cent of all tariffs.

In return, Vietnam spent nearly $5.8 billion importing goods from China during the month, resulting in a trade deficit of $2.06 billion; down $46 million against January 2017, when it was $2.1 billion.

Figures from the General Statistics Office (GSO) indicate that as at last December, the US was Vietnam’s largest export market. The January figure was $3.6 billion, an increase of 20 per cent year-on-year.

Vietnam’s third-largest export market in January was the EU, with $3 billion, up 6.6 per cent year-on-year, followed by ASEAN with $1.7 billion, Japan $1.5 billion, and South Korea $1.3 billion.

The China International Finance Corporation (CICC) predicted in a December report that China would overtake the US as the world’s largest importer over the next five years. The country is currently the largest exporter in the world and the second-largest importer, in the context of a stable domestic economy and recovering global commodity prices.

The report noted that the trend in China of rising imports has had a huge impact on the global market, as it is the largest importer for 41 countries and territories. As the world’s most populous nation, it is expected to become the largest consumer market in the world and will begin importing more consumer goods than raw industrial materials.

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