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NEWS UPDATES Asean Affairs        26  April 2011

Garments, textiles lead surge in Vietnamese exports

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The country's export revenue in the first four months of the year surged 35.7 percent over the same period last year to reach US$26.94 billion, the Vietnam General Statistics Office estimated.

Exports in April reached $7.3 billion, roughly $1.4 billion lower than the previous month. The office attributed the four- month figure to the high prices of many export staples, especially cassava that doubled in value against the same period last year, earning the country $515 million, in the first four months.

Garments and textiles were the country's largest earner in that time at nearly $3.93 billion, followed by crude oil at $2.46 billion.

However, coal and jewelery reportedly decreased by between 5-24.3 per cent over the same period last year.

The country, meanwhile, spent $31.83 billion on imports, up 29.1 per cent over the first four months of last year, pushing the national trade deficit to nearly $4.9 billion, up 6 per cent over the same period last year.

Import value for machines and equipment topped more than $4.68 billion, followed by petroleum at $3.58 billion and textile fabric at $2.11 billion.

Imports of vegetables, animal feed and vehicles declined in value while liquefied gas, iron, steel and completed motorbikes saw a decrease in volume, the office reported.

In the first four months of this year, the export value of agricultural, forest and seafood products rose 43.3 percent year-on-year to $8.4 billion, according to the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development.

The export value surged by 65.1 percent to $5 billion for farming products, by 29.2 percent to $1.6 billion for seafood and by 48.1 percent to $1.2 billion for forestry products.

Nguyen Viet Chien, director of the ministry's Information and Statistics Centre, said inflation had caused an increase in the price of almost all these products.

Rice gained the largest export value in the first four months of this year, Chien said. The export of rice had a year-on-year increase of 30 per cent in volume to 2.8 million tonnes and 22.7 per cent in value to $1.4 billion.

The largest export market for rice was Indonesia, followed by Cuba.

The ministry expects the total export volume of rice to reach about 7 million tonnes this year. Coffee export price doubled that of the same period last year to VND47-49 million ($2,238-2,333) per tonne.

Exports reached 675,000 tonnes in volume and $1.4 billion in value for the first four months. In the first four months, rubber exports doubled in value to $897 million and by 31.3 per cent in volume to 204,000 tonnes.

Pepper export prices also had a record increase of 61.8 per cent in the first four months to $4,895 per tonne.

The export value of pepper had a year-on-year increase of 3.5 per cent to $208 million while the export volume declined by 4.9 percent to 42,000 tonnes.

Viet Nam exported 39,000 tonnes of cashews, earning $275 million for the first four months. The exports declined by 14.6 percent in volume but surged by 15 per cent in value against the same period last year.

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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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