Positive results in the first 5 months of the year are an important foundation for commodity exports in 2022 to achieve the set target, which is expected to exceed USD 363 billion.
In the first five months of 2022, export of goods achieved many outstanding results. According to the General Statistics Office, over the past 5 months, the export scale has reached over US$152.81 billion, the highest compared to the same period so far and higher than the whole year scale from 2014 and earlier.
Compared to the same period in 2021, exports increased by 16.3%. Export growth was achieved in both regions. In particular, the domestic economic sector grew by 20.8%, higher than the general rate (up 16.3%) and the foreign-invested sector (up 14.8%). Thereby, it shows that the domestic economic sector has better exploited the advantages of land, climate, labor as well as advantages brought by free trade agreements.
Among the 34 major export items, there are 30 growth items. In which, 18 items increased by over 300 million USD; 13 items increased by over 500 million USD; 5 items increased over 1 billion USD. Over the past 5 months, there are 26 items with export turnover of over 1 billion USD, of which 6 items are approximately 7 billion USD, the largest are phones and components; followed by electronics, computers and components; machinery, equipment, tools and spare parts; textile; Footwear; wood and wood products.
The largest export market of Vietnam in the first 5 months of the year is the US, with 46.7 billion USD; Vietnam’s largest import market is China, with 49.6 billion USD.
Due to the higher scale and growth rate of exports than imports, in the first 5 months of the year, Vietnam had a trade surplus of 516 million USD.
Besides the outstanding points, export activities also reveal a number of problems to note. Some commodities have reduced export volume, such as cashew nuts, tea, pepper, clinker and cement, crude oil, petrol, plastic raw materials, textile fibers, iron and steel. Some items have reduced export turnover, such as vegetables and fruits, cashew nuts, tea, and rice. In May alone, the trade deficit was quite large (1,730 billion USD), which is a warning sign of the possibility of changing from a trade surplus in the previous 6 years to a trade deficit this year.
Notably, imports of many commodities decreased in volume (such as cashew nuts, corn, ores and other minerals, coal, crude oil, fertilizers, plastics, paper, cotton, textiles, iron and steel…), for supply disruption continues.
If the average export growth rate for the whole year reaches 8% (as the target set by the Ministry of Industry and Trade), the export turnover of the whole year will reach 363 billion USD. If imports also have the same growth rate as exports, the whole year’s import turnover will reach about 359 billion USD and a trade surplus of about 4 billion USD. Accordingly, 2022 will be the 8th consecutive year of trade surplus.
To achieve this goal, positive solutions are needed.
The basic and long-term solution is to promote the development of supporting industries, reduce outsourcing and assembly. Over the years, Vietnam’s supporting industry has made many development steps, but it has not yet met expectations. This solution will contribute to increase exports, increase real income, and reduce imports. In addition, it is necessary to restructure import and export markets to avoid relying too much on one or several markets.
The urgent solution is to continue to overcome the supply disruption and to have a solution when the import price continues to rise very high. Prices increased due to rising world inflation. Thanks to the persistent and active management of the State Bank of Vietnam, the VND/USD exchange rate has decreased continuously since 2020. However, the VND/USD exchange rate cannot decrease forever, as this will be detrimental to exports. and detrimental to growth. Therefore, it is necessary to operate a reasonable exchange rate to encourage exports and curb imports.