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NEWS UPDATES Asean Affairs        8  February 2011

Vietnamese electronic sales boom

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The Ministry of Industry and Trade anticipates that sales of imported electronic goods will soar by between 5-10 percent this year if the Vietnamese government carries out its plan to cut import duties. The ministry said that if import tariffs were reduced, made-in-Vietnam electronic goods would be less cost effective.

The proposed tax cut meets the country's obligations under the Vietnam-Japan Economic Partnership, the ASEAN-China trade agreements and its World Trade Organisation commitments. The Ministry of Finance said it planned to cut import taxes by 1-6 percent on nearly 1,000 items that included electronic products to meet its World Trade Organization commitments.

According to the ministry, the value of imported electronic goods and spare parts rose by 23 percent in 2010 against the previous year, which it partly attributed to the decline in the value of the Vietnamese dong against the US dollar in the last quarter.

Meanwhile, consumers spent US$5.14 billion on imported electronic products and components last year, against the ministry's forecast of $4 billion, which boosted the country's trade deficit to $12.3 billion.

The ministry said 60 percent of the imports came from China. The second biggest exporter to Vietnam was South Korea, followed by Japan.

Nguyen Van Nam, from the Nam Hong Export-Import Co said China dominated imports because its prices were more competitive than other countries. He also said domestic importers were allowed to pay in yuan for goods, which added to China's competitiveness.

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