Vietnam exported about US$79.3 billion worth of commodities in the first five months of 2017, an increase of 17.4% from the same period last year.
According to the Agency for Foreign Trade under the Ministry of Trade and Industry (MoTI), the US remained the country’s largest buyer, followed by the EU, China, ASEAN, Japan and the Republic of Korea.
The trade deficit hit US$2.7 billion, accounting for 3.4% of the export turnover, raising concerns that continuous trade deficit for months might harm the economy.
But many economists believed the trade deficit was still within an acceptable level and it is normal for a developing economy like Vietnam while the country integrates more deeply into the global trade and joins free trade agreements. Furthermore, domestic production has rebounded, motivating imports.
To gain trade balance, the MoTI plans to tighten control on goods of which imports are not encouraged and facilitate local manufacturing of similar items.
It may also use trade remedies against several imported goods to encourage consumption of made-in-Vietnam products.