There have been outstanding advances in export and import activities of Vietnam for over the last ten years. In the first year of 21st century (2001), the total trade value of Vietnam’s merchandise trade was only US dollars 31.42 billion. But one year after becoming the member of World Trade Organization (as of 1st December 2007), merchandise trade value of Vietnam totalled US dollars 100 billion.
Four years after the WTO membership, despite of the worldwide economic crisis and recession’s impact, total value of Vietnam merchandise trade from January to 14th July 2011 recorded US dollars 100 billion. Moreover, according to data of Vietnam Customs, Vietnam exports and imports of merchandise went up continuously in value terms with a series of memorable milestones in export and import performances of Vietnam. Specifically:
On 7th October 2011, total export and import turnover of Vietnam was US dollars 150 billion.
On 24th October 2011, the total value of Vietnam merchandise trade resulted in US dollars 160 billion (outpacing the total value of Vietnam merchandise trade in 2010, which was US dollars 157 billion).
As of 13th December 2011, export and import turnover of Vietnam totalled US dollars 190 billion and as of 25th December 2011, Vietnam exports and imports of merchandise reports a record of US dollars 200 billion in value terms.
Chart 1: Total value of Vietnam merchandise trade in 2011 by important milestones from US dollars 100 billion to US dollars 200 billion
While global and Vietnam economies have been still facing difficulties, there are many bright spots in performances of Vietnam export and import. As of 25th December 2011, export growth rate was 35% as compared with the same period of 2010, reporting the highest export growth race since 1995; there was a strong decrease in Vietnam merchandise trade balance in comparison with performances of last 4 years and the relative trade balance ratio [(EX-IM)/EX]of 12 months of 2011 has been the lowest one (about 11%) since 2002.
Chart 2: Total value of Vietnam merchandise trade, trade balance and growth
from 2001 to 25th December, 2011
At that time, the trade statistics released by Vietnam Customs also shows that there were 49 main import s and exports, which recorded over US dollars 1 billion in value terms. Amongst those, there were 5 main exports and 5 imports, which reached over US dollars 6 billion in value terms, such as: textiles and garments; crude oil; telephones, mobile phones and parts thereof; foot- wears; fishery products (for exports) and machine, equipment, tools and instruments; computers, electrical products, spare – parts and components thereof; petroleum products; textile, leather and foot-wear materials and auxiliaries; iron and steel (for imports).