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NEW UPDATES Asean Affairs 23 July 2014  

Trade surplus tops $1.46b in first half of this year

Vietnam: The country had a trade surplus of US$1.46 billion by July 15, according to statistics from the General Department of Customs.

The department reported that the country's export and import turnover in the period reached $152.03 billion, up 12.9 per cent year on year. Of the total, export accounted for $76.75 billion, up 14.7 per cent.

In the first half of July, the export value was $5.82 per cent, down 11.2 per cent against the second half of June. Garment and textile was the only export staple whose revenue exceeded $1 billion in the period.

The import revenue in the first half of July was also down 6.9 per cent to reach $6.02 billion. Machines, equipment and materials were the items with the highest import value.

Foreign-invested firms remained the biggest contributor to the country's export with a value of $3.54 billion in the first half of July, raising the total export in the period between January and July 15 to $47.15 billion. The firms spent $3.44 billion and $42.28 billion on imports in the first half of July and in the January-to-July period, respectively.

Based on the export results till date, the Ministry of Industry and Trade (MoIT) forecast that the country's export value this year would reach roughly $146 billion, up 10.6 per cent compared with the previous year. The import value, meanwhile, would reach $145.5 billion, up 10.2 per cent. So Viet Nam would have a trade surplus of roughly $500 million this year.

However, the ministry noted that it would not be easy to achieve these results because the economy still faces numerous difficulties. The competition between countries which export to large markets such as the US, Japan and the Republic of Korea is becoming increasingly fierce. The export of agricultural and forest products and seafood continues to face difficulties in terms of price and market.

To achieve the annual export targets, deputy director of the MoIT's Export and Import Department Phan Thi Dieu Ha said that the ministry had issued some instructions and proposed measures to boost exports, especially the export of agricultural products and seafood.

Recently, the MoIT and the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development met to discuss market-related issues to help businesses boost exports. They agreed that it was necessary to maintain a close relationship between agricultural production, the processing industry and value chains in order to create high-quality agricultural products.

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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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