|The Industry and Trade sector continues to focus on supporting localities, associations and businesses to carry out trade promotion activities for key markets. Photo: Industry and Trade Newspaper
Export surplus in the first month of the year: joy comes along with challenges
At the trade promotion conference with the Overseas Vietnam Trade Office system in January 2023, held on January 31, the Director of the Trade Promotion Department (Ministry of Industry and Trade), Vu Ba Phu, said after more than two difficult years, due to the Covid-19 epidemic, the total export and import turnover of goods in 2022 reached a record number of USD 732.5 billion, an increase of 9.5% compared to 2021.
From 2016 to now, the trade balance of import and export of goods has been continuously in surplus, with a higher export surplus the following year than the previous year. That result has a significant contribution from trade promotion activities.
In January 2023, the total import-export value of the whole country was estimated at 46.56 billion USD, down 17.3% from the previous month and down 25% compared to the same period last year. Import turnover was estimated at USD 25.08 billion, down 13.6% compared to the previous month. Imports were estimated at USD 21.48 billion, down 21.3% from the previous month. As a result, the trade balance reached a surplus of 3.6 billion USD.
According to Minister of Industry and Trade Nguyen Hong Dien, this is a good sign because the trade surplus continues to be maintained, but it is also a sign that cannot be underestimated. Happy because of the trade surplus, but the cause of the trade surplus was the deep decrease in imports and low demand for raw materials. Although total import-export turnover reached 46.56 billion USD, it decreased by 25% over the same period.
“Import and export turnover decreased because there are two Tet holidays in January. On the other hand, exports in the first month of the year are the remaining products of export enterprises of the 2022 plan.
While countries with large manufacturing and exporting backgrounds, like China and some Asian countries, opened later, the supply capacity to the market is not as fast as ours. That is both an advantage and an outstanding result, but also a big challenge for the next months of 2023,” said Minister Nguyen Hong Dien.
Maintain traditional markets
In 2023, it is forecasted that there will be even more challenges due to increasingly fierce strategic competition, political conflicts and armed conflicts; the Russian-Ukrainian armed conflict is likely to continue. As a result, the market will continue to have differences, world politics will continue to have unpredictable developments, trade and investment competition will be complicated, the market will shrink, and aggregate demand will decrease. Moreover, production capacity depends mainly on imported raw materials; the most challenging supply disruption is the energy supply.
Therefore, the Minister of Industry and Trade requested that in trade promotion activities, it is necessary to maintain traditional markets and develop new markets, especially potential markets in Asia such as West Asia, South Asia, Africa, and Latin America.
At the same time, focus on grasping new guidelines and policies of the host country, especially the new barriers that countries and markets are posed to advise the Party, State, and leaders of the Ministry of Industry and Trade to have appropriate countermeasures to protect the legitimate interests of the nations and businesses promptly. Simultaneously, popularize and spread the Party and State’s open policy in investment and attraction; especially in fundamental fields such as the materials industry, support, manufacturing, processing, chemicals, electronics, energy, etc.
Specifically implementing trade promotion activities in 2023, Director of the Trade Promotion Department Vu Ba Phu said that the unit would focus on supporting localities, associations and businesses to carry out trade promotion activities for Vietnam with key markets, especially exploiting markets and regions that currently have FTAs with Vietnam.
At the same time, coordinate with the units under the Ministry to directly carry out trade promotion activities to open up new and potential markets that businesses have not directly implemented trade promotion activities, such as regional markets in Africa, Middle East, and South America.
In addition, the unit also coordinates with trade agencies and related units in the Ministry of Industry and Trade to quickly develop programs to support businesses to improve trade promotion capacity, especially trade promotion, promoting “green” export to meet the requirements, adapting to the new trend of global import markets. Because of green trade, green growth today is no longer an option but has become an inevitable worldwide trend.
Along with that is the promotion of information technology applications and digital transformation in trade promotion. Taking advantage of information technology and digital transformation in providing information, consulting export markets and connecting markets for localities, industry associations and the business community.
Continue to improve the effectiveness of the National Brand Program through activities to improve trade promotion capacity associated with brand building and development to increase added value and develop sustainable exports to help Vietnamese businesses gradually penetrate deeply into high-value stages in the global value chain.
Additionally, activities to promote international cooperation in trade promotion activities by promoting the signing and implementation of the Memorandum of Understanding on cooperation in the field of trade promotion and investment with agencies, and international partner trade promotion organizations are also concentrated.