According to the data just released by the General Statistics Office, although the fourth Covid-19 epidemic has become increasingly complicated, causing many provinces and cities across the country to implement social distancing, it has had a negative impact on business activities. import and export, but the total export and import turnover of goods in 7 months of 2021 still reached a high level, with 373.36 billion USD, up 30.2% over the same period last year.

IMPORT "IMPOSSIBLE" EXPORT

In which, exports reached US$185.33 billion, up 25.5%; imports reached $188.03 billion, up 35.3%. Thus, the balance of trade in goods in 2021 has reversed compared to this time of 2020. In general, in the first 7 months of 2021, the whole country has a trade deficit of 2.7 billion USD (the same period in 2020 there is a trade surplus of 6.5 billion USD). USD).

Although the balance of trade in goods is tilted towards the trade deficit, according to the General Statistics Office, up to 93.8% of total import turnover is capital goods.

Recognizing this issue, Mr. Tran Thanh Hai, Deputy Director of the Import-Export Department (Ministry of Industry and Trade), said that Vietnam's trade balance deficit is not too unusual because at present, the Many imported goods are mainly raw materials for production activities, especially for the production of export goods.

The most imported items in recent years are mainly electronic components, raw materials in the leather, footwear and textile industries... These are also the manufacturing sectors that are experiencing a rapid recovery when the markets. imports recovered.

In the first 7 months of 2021, the group of capital goods reached US$176.36 billion, up 35.8% over the same period last year. In which, the group of machinery, equipment, tools and spare parts reached USD 84.35 billion, up 30% and accounting for 44.9%; raw materials, fuel and materials reached US$92.01 billion, up 41.5% and accounting for 48.9%.

Many textile, leather and footwear enterprises now have orders until the end of the third quarter of 2021, even the fourth quarter of 2021. Therefore, an increase in imports is also inevitable.

More optimistic, Dr. Le Quoc Phuong, former deputy director of the Center for Industry and Trade Information, said that the trade deficit is nothing to worry about because looking at the import structure, which is mainly production materials. This means that businesses have orders, so they have to import raw materials, accessories, parts and accessories for production.

Specifically, in the first 7 months of 2021, there are 31 imported items with a value of over 1 billion USD, accounting for 87.5% of the total import turnover.

In which, electronics, computers and components reached 39.4 billion USD (accounting for 20.9% of total import turnover), up 20.3% over the same period last year; machinery, equipment, tools and spare parts reached USD 27.1 billion, up 36.8%; phones and components reached 10.6 billion USD, up 48.5%; fabric reached 8.7 billion USD, up 32.9%; plastics reached 7.1 billion USD, up 54.3%...

However, the increasing trade deficit is also bringing a lot of worries, because in addition to importing production materials to serve export industries, the increase in imports of consumer goods, especially consumer goods. The luxury is worth talking about.

According to the General Statistics Office, in the past 7 months, the consumer goods group reached 11.67 billion USD, up 28.5% and accounting for 6.2% of the total import turnover.

Along with the trade deficit, there were also concerns about the inefficient operation of domestic enterprises. Specifically, in the past 7 months, while the domestic economic sector had a trade deficit of 17.8 billion USD, the foreign invested sector (including crude oil) had a trade surplus of 15.1 billion USD. This means that the trade surplus is completely dependent on the FDI sector.

Efforts to IMPROVE TRADE BALANCE

Commenting on import and export activities in the coming time, the Ministry of Industry and Trade said that it will continue to prosper when free trade agreements (FTAs) are gradually being implemented in a more comprehensive and effective way.

In particular, the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP), the Free Trade Agreement between Vietnam and the European Union (EVFTA), the Free Trade Agreement between Vietnam and the EU. The United Kingdom and Northern Ireland (UKVFTA)… will continue to create favorable conditions for Vietnamese goods to penetrate into partner markets with preferential tariffs, thereby promoting strong export growth in the coming time. .

Export prices are also tending to increase, especially Vietnam's strong commodities, which will be an important driving force to increase export value.

According to the cycle, imports of manufactured goods usually increase at the beginning of the year and decrease in the second half of the year while exports peak in the second half of the year. Demand for Vietnam's export goods will continue to increase in the last months of 2021, especially for electronics, machinery and equipment, furniture, textiles and seafood.

In 7 months of 2021 compared to the same period last year, electronics, computers and components reached USD 27.4 billion, up 16.5%; machinery, equipment, tools and spare parts reached USD 19.7 billion, up 55.4%; textiles and garments reached 18.6 billion USD, up 14.1%; wood and wood products reached 9.5 billion USD, up 53.7%; seafood reached 4.9 billion USD, up 12%...With this result, the trade balance is forecasted to improve in the coming time.

Notably, the export of goods will have more advantages, because recently (on July 24, 2021), the United States Trade Representative (USTR) officially issued the conclusion of the case. investigation under Section 301 of the Trade Act 1974 into the conduct, policies and practices of Vietnam related to the issue of currency undervaluation.

Accordingly, on the basis of satisfactory solutions, meeting the objectives of the investigation as stated in the Agreement reached on July 19, 2021 between the US Department of Finance and the State Bank of Vietnam, USTR will not issue any trade-restrictive measures for Vietnamese exports. This is good news, because the United States is the largest export market of Vietnamese goods.

However, import and export activities may be negatively affected by the fourth Covid-19 outbreak in many localities, especially some provinces and cities that are major commodity production areas such as Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City… are the localities with the largest scale of import and export turnover of the country.

As for the world, Asia continues to be the focus with a rapidly increasing number of new Covid-19 infections, making it difficult for a series of countries such as India, Japan, Taiwan, Indonesia or Thailand. affect Vietnam's exports.

In order to support enterprises to boost exports, in the coming time, the Ministry of Industry and Trade will organize to exploit and take advantage of opportunities from FTAs ​​to find solutions to develop markets and remove barriers to penetrate new markets. Continue to closely monitor the development of the Covid-19 pandemic in the world to take timely response measures.

At the same time, prioritize the implementation of export promotion activities into export markets that will recover soon after the Covid-19 pandemic, focusing on closely monitoring the situation of each market to review and identify the types of goods. goods that countries are importing, thereby exploiting and promoting exports.