Import and export recover expected to accelerate in fourth quarter

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Import-export activities showed bright signs in September. Photo: T.Binh

Optimistic signals in September

According to the General Department of Customs, in September, the total import and export turnover of Vietnam reached more than US$53 billion. Specifically, exports reached more than US$27 billion, a slight decrease of 0.7% compared to August 2021; imports reached US$26.67 billion, down 2.5%. Although it is still decreasing compared to the previous month, the rate of decline has been improved. August exports decreased by 2.3% compared to July 2021, while imports decreased by 6.1%.

Along with controlling the decline in turnover in general, September’s export activities had more remarkable bright spots. Typically, the two largest export groups of Vietnam including phones and computers continued to maintain good growth momentum. Of which, phones reached US$5.7 billion, up 2.5% compared to August; computers, electronic products, and components reached US$4.77 billion, up 12.5%.

In addition, key agricultural export groups of Vietnam are also witnessing a remarkable recovery in the past month such as vegetables, seafood, cashew nuts, and rice.

Along with the prosperity of large commodity groups, adding positive developments to export activities in September was the initial recovery of the economic locomotive Ho Chi Minh City. In September, this locality’s exports reached US$3.363 billion, up 33% compared to the previous August, equivalent to an increase of more than US$800 million in turnover.

With Ho Chi Minh City basically controlling the pandemic and easing prevention and control measures from the beginning of October, import and export activities in this economic center will enjoy positive growth in the last months of the year. Because, this is not only an area where many export processing zones and industrial parks are concentrated with production and export activities but also as the largest seaport in Vietnam and Tan Son Nhat international airport, so the city has timely solutions to create favorable conditions helping businesses in southern provinces and cities open more doors to import supplies, raw materials, machinery and equipment for production, as well as export goods.

US$600 billion at hand

With the results in September, for the whole nine months, the total import-export turnover of the country reached US$484 billion, equivalent to the average figure of nearly US$54 billion/month. Thus, to reach US$600 billion of import and export this year, the country only needs to reach US$116 billion in the fourth quarter, equivalent to nearly US$39 billion per month. This is completely possible if looking at the results in the past nine months, even at the most complicated time of the pandemic, Vietnam’s export turnover has never reached less than US$40 billion a month.

Another root for creating confidence in the recovery of import and export is the development of foreign direct investment (FDI) enterprises. Vietnam’s import and export activities, especially exports, still rely heavily on the contribution of FDI enterprises.

Import and export data of the General Department of Customs show that the export of FDI enterprises in the past nine months reached US$176.6 billion, accounting for 73.4% of the total export turnover of Vietnam. Meanwhile, the largest export sectors dominated by FDI enterprises such as phones and computers, electronic products and components, etc., which are experiencing remarkable growth, will be an important aspect in import and export activities.

Recently, on August 31, at the headquarters of LG Display Vietnam Hai Phong Co., Ltd (Trang Due Industrial Park, Hai Phong), leaders of Hai Phong Economic Zone Management Board awarded the adjusted investment certificate for LG Display Vietnam Hai Phong Co., Ltd.

Accordingly, LG Display Vietnam Hai Phong Co., Ltd. increased its capital by US$1.4 billion, bringing the total investment capital in Hai Phong to US$4.65 billion, becoming the project with the largest investment capital in the port city. With the additional investment capital, the company will increase the output of plastic OLED screens from 9.6 to 10 million products/month to 13 to 14 million products/month. It is expected that export revenue will increase by about US$6.5 billion/year; contribute about US$25 million/year to the state budget, creating more jobs for 10,000 workers. This event shows that large FDI enterprises are still putting their trust in the Vietnamese market.

Of course, to be able to recover production and export capacity, it requires not only the effort of the business community but also the cooperation of ministries, branches and localities. In particular, localities need to soon remove pandemic prevention and control measures, creating favorable conditions for investors and qualified workers to travel easily for production, business and circulation of goods.

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