HANOI: Viet Nam could run up a US$4 billion trade deficit for the whole year after three consecutive years of a trade surplus, the Ministry of Industry and Trade (MOIT) said.
The trade deficit would account for 2.4 per cent of total exports, much lower than the set target of five per cent set by the National Assembly early this year. It would also be lower than the ministry’s previous forecast of $6 billion or between 3.3 per cent and 3.6 per cent of total exports.
Previously, the MOIT forecast that Viet Nam would earn between $164 billion and 164.5 billion from exports this year, an increase of between 9.3 per cent and 9.5 per cent against 2014. Import turnover was projected at $168 billion, up 13.5 per cent, compared to 2014.
Statistics from the ministry showed that in the first 11 months of the year, export revenues have totalled $148.71 billion, up 8.3 per cent over the same period last year. During the first 11 months, the country’s import values totalled nearly $152.5 billion, an increase of 13.7 per cent over the same period last year, causing a $3.8 billion trade gap in general.
The ministry said the world goods market has been witnessing a downward trend due to decreasing demand. The trade data showed that Viet Nam’s trade deficit has been mostly caused by Vietnamese firms, which had outperformed the foreign-owned sector in terms of export for many years.
From January to November, the domestic sector caused an $18.7 trade deficit, whereas foreign-invested firms helped the country run up a $14.9 trade surplus, according to the General Statistics Office (GSO).
Imports for FDI businesses increased 8 per cent to $62.3 billion while those of domestic companies shot up over twice the rate at 18.1 per cent to $90.2 billion, the GSO said.
The United States remained Viet Nam’s largest export market with sales of $30.6 billion (up 17.6 per cent), followed in descending order of importance by the European Union, the Association of South East Asian Nations, China, and Japan, along with the Republic of Korea. China was the biggest import market with an estimated value of $45.1 billion, up 14 per cent.