|Production activities of the enterprise. Photo: T.D|
Trade surplus in January 2023 was estimated at 3.6 billion USD
January 2023 included both the extended New Year and Lunar New Year, so the number of working days was less than the previous month and January 2022. Therefore, as statistics by the General Statistics Office, the total export and import turnover of goods in January 2023 was estimated at 46.56 billion USD, down 17.3% compared to the previous month and down 25% over the same period last year. As a result, the export turnover of goods in January 2023 was estimated at 25.08 billion USD, down 13.6% over the previous month and down 21.3% over the same period last year; the import turnover of goods in January 2023 was estimated at 21.48 billion USD, down 21.3% over the previous month and down 28.9% over the same period last year.
Regarding the structure of export products, the group of processed industrial products accounted for 89%; the group of capital goods comprised 93% of the structure of the group of imported goods in January 2023. Regarding commodity import and export markets, the United States is Vietnam’s largest export partner with an estimated turnover of 7.6 billion USD; China is Vietnam’s largest import market with an estimated turnover of 8.1 billion USD. Thus, the goods trade balance in January 2023 was estimated to have a surplus of 3.6 billion USD. On the other hand, the domestic economic sector has a trade deficit of 1.04 billion USD; the foreign-invested sector (including crude oil) had a trade surplus of $4.64 billion.
Although the import and export results in the first month of the year decreased slightly month on month and year on year due to the impact of the prolonged Tet holiday, thanks to positive signs since early- year months due to China’s border opening or the deep and wide implementation of the Free Trade Agreements, import and export activities were able to benefit much momentum to grow.
For example, from the beginning of 2023, the rice export market has prospered with many new orders, creating expectations for a new crop. According to the Vietnam Food Association (VFA) aggregated data, rice exports from January 1 to January 15, 2023, reached more than 226 thousand tons, worth nearly $115 million, compared to the same period in volume increased by 41.04% and in value increased by 41.29%.
Expanding the market from branding
Agricultural enterprises have effectively taken advantage of Free Trade Agreements to expand markets and enhance brand value. General Director of Trung An Hi-tech Agriculture Joint Stock Company (Can Tho) Pham Thai Binh said that at an early stage, without the EVFTA Agreement, Vietnamese rice must suffer a very high tax rate from the EU from 5% to 45% accordingly. As a result, it is very difficult for Vietnamese rice to compete with rice in countries such as Cambodia, Myanmar, etc., because these countries, although not participating in the Agreement like Vietnam, are exempt from import tax by the European Union, which means special privileges. Although Thai rice is also subject to import tax, this country’s rice has a strong and long-standing brand name. Therefore, when there is EVFTA, Vietnamese enterprises, especially in the rice industry, can compete fairly with these countries.
According to the leader of Trung An Hi-tech Agriculture Joint Stock Company, in the past, exported rice to Europe had to pay a high tax rate, even up to 200 Euro/ton in some cases. However, thanks to import tax exemption, importers get very competitive prices. Moreover, in the past few years, Vietnamese rice has had very good quality thanks to the restructuring of the agricultural sector, including the rice industry. With the policy from the Government, the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, enterprises and farmers have actively changed the production and cultivation process, improved the quality of rice, and replaced the thinking to improve productivity. As a result, the quality and value of Vietnamese rice grains are significantly improved
“Currently, Vietnamese rice has legitimately entered the European market, especially since the value of rice has been enhanced; European consumers have accepted not only it but also trusted it,” said the General Director of the Trung An Hi-tech Agriculture Joint Stock Company said.
According to the Ministry of Industry and Trade, the total export turnover in 2023 is set to increase by about 6% compared to 2022. Along with the enterprise’s efforts to find new partners and diversify export products, the Ministry will also support localities, associations and businesses to effectively exploit signed Free Trade Agreements and support localities and businesses to switch firmly to official export in association with branding and sustainable export.
Solutions set forth by the Ministry of Industry and Trade focus on regularly updating commodity prices, supply and demand fluctuations in the world market, and information on measures to manage methods of import partners to plan production and business proactively. It is recommended that enterprises study and increase the output purchased from the domestic supply with products with high import prices and set up an appropriate alternative market plan.
At the same time, it is necessary to enhance opportunities from new-generation FTAs to diversify import and export markets; keep promoting trade promotion activities to expand markets in the direction of prioritizing the implementation of projects and activities to promote exports to markets that have soon recovered in the post-Covid-19 period.