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NEW UPDATES Asean Affairs 28 September 2015  

Trade deficit reaches $3.9b in nine months

HA NOI (VNS)— The country's export value till September of this year increased by nearly 10 per cent to nearly US$120.7 billion while imports surged 16 per cent to $124.6 billion.

This has pushed the trade deficit to $3.9 billion, the Ministry of Planning and Investment reported at a meeting in Ha Noi yesterday.

According to the ministry, despite a 1.9 per cent month-on-month decline in September, total export earnings in the first nine months of the year are estimated to increase 9.6 per cent, against the same period last year, to nearly $120.7 billion.

The ministry estimated that the country's export value by the end of this month met roughly 73.2 per cent of the $165 billion annual export target.

Exports to major markets rose significantly in the first nine months with the United States and European Union markets reporting a rise of 19.6 per cent and 12.4 per cent, respectively. The two outlets accounted for 20.6 per cent and 18.9 per cent of the country's total export value, respectively.

Exports to China also rose 12.5 per cent, representing 10.4 per cent of the country's total export value.

In the first nine months, the export growth was attributed to increasing export revenue of processed products, garment, and wood, apart from telephones and components.

Textile and garments rose 10.6 per cent to $17.1 billion; footwear was up 18.4 per cent to $8.8 billion; wood and timber products also rose 9.1 per cent to $4.9 billion, while mobile phones and components surged 34.3 per cent to $23.2 billion.

However, some products saw a decline in exports in the period, of which agri-forestry and seafood products dipped 10 per cent due to decline of three key products – rice, coffee and rubber. Mineral exports also fell 45 per cent because of the sharp decrease in crude oil export value.

As for imports, the ministry reported that September saw an import value of $14.3 billion, up 1.2 per cent against the same period last year. It lifted the import value in the first nine months to $124.6 billion, up 15.9 per cent year-on-year.

In the first nine months, the country mainly imported machinery and equipment worth $20.9 billion, computers and equipment worth $17.3 billion, and cloth and garment accessories worth $11.3 billion.

In the period, Viet Nam mainly imported from Asian markets, which accounted for more than 80 per cent of its total import value.

Newly-licensed large-scale projects spur nine-month foreign investment

Foreign direct investment (FDI) registered in Viet Nam rose significantly by 53.4 per cent year-on-year to US$17.15 billion in the first nine months, the ministry also revealed during the yesterday meeting.

The sudden FDI increase was attributed to several large-scale projects receiving licences in the reviewed period including Malaysia-invested Duyen Hai 2 thermo-electricity in southern Tra Vinh province capitalised at $2.4 billion and the $3 billion-expansion of Korean Samsung Display's project in Bac Ninh Industrial Zone.

According to the ministry, as of September 20, the country granted investment licences to 1,432 new foreign-invested projects worth $11.03 billion, up 44.5 per cent over the same period last year. Meanwhile, it also allowed 461 operating projects to raise their capitals by $6.11 billion, surging 72.6 per cent year-on-year.

During the period, the disbursement of FDI also witnessed a yearly encouraging rise of 8.4 per cent to $9.65 billion.

Earlier, the Minister of Planning and Investment, Bui Quang Vinh, said Viet Nam has set a goal of luring $23 billion in FDI this year with FDI disbursement expected to hit approximate $12.5 billion. — VNS

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This year in Thailand-what next?

AseanAffairs   04 January 2011
By David Swartzentruber      

It is commonplace in journalism to write two types of articles at the transition point between the year that has passed and the New Year. As this writer qualifies as an “old hand” in observing Thailand with a track record dating back 14 years, it is time take a shot at what may unfold in Thailand in 2011.

The first issue that can’t be answered is the health of Thailand’s beloved King Bhumibol, who is now 83 years old. He is the world's longest reigning monarch, but elaborate birthday celebrations in December failed to mask concern over his health. More






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