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NEWS UPDATES 8 September 2010

Trade minister says “reduce imports”

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Vietnamese businesses should reduce imports and increase the use of domestic raw materials and equipment to help curb Vietnam's trade deficit, Minister of Industry and Trade Vu Huy Hoang said during an online meeting with business leaders Firms also needed to find ways to reduce costs, increase the supply of skilled workers, and boost trade and export promotion efforts, Hoang said.

Attendants at the conference agreed that a dependence on imported materials was influencing the prices of export products due to market fluctuations. They also noted that it could subject some export products to trade barriers from other countries.

The trade deficit hit a record US$8.16 billion in the first eight months of the year, an increase of US$3 billion over the same period of last year, according to ministry sources. Imports also rose to 18.3 per cent of total export turnover, and, without more effective measures, the ratio might exceed the 20-percent limit set by the National Assembly, the ministry said.

The nation's imports totalled $52.68 billion overall in the first eight months of the year, an increase of 24.4 per cent over the same period last year. Domestic businesses accounted for $30.3 billion of the imports – an increase of 13.2 percent – while foreign-invested firms imported $22.37 billion worth of goods, a whopping 43.6-percent increase.

Imported materials for industrial production rose dramatically, including machinery, up 14.9 per cent, textiles, up 38.1 per cent and metals, up 79.9 percent Among consumer products, imports of electronics, computers and accessories rose 31.5 per- cent and imports of clothing climbed by 26.6 percent.

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