Vietnam has trade relations with 200 countries

Vietnam has maintained trade relations with more than 200 countries, meaning its commodities are present in almost all markets worldwide, the Ministry of Industry and Trade said.

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There are about 70 markets where Vietnam has export turnover of more than US$100 million, according to a report on Vietnam’s imports and exports in 2016 published by the ministry on March 29.

At the announcement ceremony, Deputy Minister of Industry and Trade Tran Quoc Khanh said Vietnam’s foreign trade has improved dramatically with the total value reaching US$349.16 billion in 2016 thanks to market openness policy and deep integration.

Last year saw total exports amounting to US$175.9 billion, up 8.6% over 2015. The commodities having export value of more than US$1 billion each rose from 23 in 2015 to 25 in 2016.

Exports to China reached US$22 billion, up 28.4%, US$11.4 billion to South Korea, up 28%, US$14.7 billion to Japan, up 3.9%, and US$2.7 billion to India, up 8.7%, Khanh said.

Meanwhile, customs data show Vietnam’s export sales to the United States last year hit US$38.5 billion, growing 15% year-on-year and accounting for 22% of Vietnam’s total.

Khanh said Vietnam currently has signed ten free trade agreements (FTA) and is negotiating with key economic partners to sign new FTAs.

The Vietnam-Korea FTA alone has helped Vietnam’s exports to this market grow 29% to US$11.4 billion last year.

Meanwhile, the import bill was US$173.26 billion last year, an increase of 4.6% over 2015. The main import items were raw materials for domestic production.

The trade surplus was US$2.68 billion, helping maintain the trade balance and stabilize the local currency market.

The stable growth of import and export in 2016 contributed significantly to GDP growth, job creation, farm produce consumption for farmers and helped increase foreign exchange reserves, stabilize exchange rates and ensure a macroeconomic balance.