Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung has suggested Vietnam and Australia work harder to lift their bilateral ties to a new height while meeting with Speaker of the Australian House of Representatives Anna Burke in Hanoi on May 22.
- Gloomy outlook on economic recovery
Vietnam Customs statistics show that seven-month imports hit US$63.46 billion, up 8.1 percent from a year earlier.
In July alone, exports fetched US$10.19 billion, 3 percent more than the previous month, while imports rose 0.8 percent to US$9.61 billion.
During the seven-month period, total national trade value reached US$127.01 billion, a year on year increase of 13.8 percent.
Phones and accessories recorded the highest export growth rate of 250 percent to notch up US$6.2 billion.
They were followed by computers, electronics and accessories (US$4.04 billion, 83.6 percent), vehicles and accessories (earning US$2.64 billion, up 57.4 percent), machinery and equipment (US$3.09 billion, 39 percent), footwear (US$4.14 billion, 14.2 percent), and garments (US$8.27 billion, 9.3 percent).
Among farm products, seafood exports rose 6.8 percent to US$3.39 billion. Consignments to the US brought US$871 million back to Vietnam, up 13.4 percent, while those to the European Union earned US$651 million, down 14.7 percent, to Japan US$595 million, up 27.1 percent, and to the Republic of Korea US$278 million, up 11.5 percent.
Worthy of note is that rice exports saw an increase of 0.3 percent in volume to reach 4.73 million tonnes, but a fall of 7.4 percent in value to earn just US$2.15 billion.
Vietnam has rarely achieved a positive balance of trade as its economy relies heavily on imports of equipment and materials.
A trade surplus is an important factor in maintaining the exchange rate and increasing foreign currency reserves.
However, the consecutive trade surpluses in recent months indicate domestic industrial production is still in a fix. They also raise concerns about difficult times ahead for businesses in the coming months.
A recent survey conducted by Vietnam Report JSC, a leading business rating company, revealed that up to 46 percent of businesses questioned think the national economy will not be out of the woods in 2013.
Worries about the recovery of the national economy, low consumer demand and declining orders are forcing businesses to think twice before spending money on imports.