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What makes a record of more than US$600 billion of import and export

20:10 | 16/01/2022

VCN - As of December 15, Vietnam's import and export turnover reached US$633 billion, setting an impressive record, far exceeding the US$600 billion mark. In the past 10 years, the structure of Vietnam's industry has also changed significantly with the strong rise of high-tech products such as phones, computers, and machinery.

The flow of import and export goods has been cleared in the context of the pandemic, helping 2021 to reach a record of more than US$600 billion. Photo: T.Binh
The flow of import and export goods has been cleared in the context of the pandemic, helping 2021 to reach a record of more than US$600 billion. Photo: T.Binh

Technology goods take the throne

In 2021, there were nearly 40 commodity groups with a turnover of US$1 billion or more, of which there were eight groups of goods with US$10 billion or more.

In particular, the key commodity groups have changed significantly. In the past, major contributions to exports came from labor-intensive industries such as textiles and garments, footwear, seafood, or commodities such as coal and crude oil. Now they have given way for the strong rise of high-tech commodity groups such as phones, computers and machinery.

In 2011 the three largest export commodity groups were textiles and garments (more than US$14 billion), coal (more than US$7.1 billion) and footwear (US$6.55 billion). By 2021, the three largest commodity groups were phones reaching nearly US$60 billion; computers, electronic products and components reaching about US$50 billion; and machinery and equipment at nearly US$40 billion.

In 10 years, the export turnover of these three major commodity groups increased by 8 to 10 times. Meanwhile, in the same period, textiles and garments only increased by more than 1 time, footwear increased about 2 times, and coal only reached more than US$200 million.

The above data shows to some extent the advantage, surplus value and technological power in the era of the Fourth Industrial Revolution. For example, mobile phones, with only the presence of Samsung Group and a few hundred thousand employees in production bases in Bac Ninh or Thai Nguyen, generated export turnover far beyond the textile and garment industry with thousands of factories spread across the country, employing about 2 million people.

On the other hand, in 2011, there were only 25 groups of goods imported with a turnover of US$1 billion or more, but last year this number increased to nearly 50 groups.

In particular, in 2021, the structure of imports will focus mainly on raw materials and auxiliary materials for production, especially new fields such as electronics (telephones, computers) or machinery and equipment.

This shows that even in the context of the Covid-19 pandemic, the business community has to face many difficulties, but production and business activities are still trying to continue in a sustainable way.

What makes a record of more than US$600 billion of import and export
Turnover of key export commodity groups over 10 years, unit "million US$". Chart: T.Binh

Sustainable growth

Along with the change in commodity structure, the key regions, provinces and key import-export cities of Vietnam are also increasingly diversified, in which focus on two key areas are the Southeast and the key economic region of the North.

Regarding import and export activities, they were often associated with Ho Chi Minh City, Dong Nai and Binh Duong, but now we have witnessed the strong rise of Bac Ninh, Thai Nguyen, Hai Phong, Hanoi and Bac Giang.

In particular, 2021 witnessed an interesting comparison in the two leading positions in exports with the strong rise of Bac Ninh to join the economic "leader" of Ho Chi Minh City to become two localities with export turnover of more than US$40 billion.

Regarding trade partners, Vietnam currently has trade relations with more than 200 countries and territories. Among them are many major partners with bilateral trade of up to tens, even hundreds of billions of US$/year.

These include China, Korea, Japan, the ASEAN region, Germany and the Netherlands.

The world's largest economy is the US, the largest export market of Vietnam for many years. In particular, the Chinese market alone achieves a bilateral turnover of more than US$100 billion.

The diversity and abundance of industries, locations and trading partners are important pillars to help Vietnam stand firm and set a record in terms of import and export turnover in 2021, even amid the Covid-19 pandemic.

Along with the factors of commodity industry, location and trade partners, Vietnam's signing and participation in many Free Trade Agreements (FTAs), especially new generation FTAs are also important factors to help import and export activities develop quickly and sustainably and play an important role in the global supply chain of goods.

With import-export turnover exceeding US$600 billion in 2021, this number is about 120 times higher than in the early years of the Doi Moi period.

By Thai Binh/ Huu Tuc