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NEWS UPDATES Asean Affairs        24  June 2011

Vietnamese export revenue soars

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Total export revenue for the first six months of the year would reach US$41.5 billion, up 27.8 per cent against the same period last year, the Ministry of Planning and Investment said in a report submitted to the National Assembly's Economic Committee on Tuesday.

The increase nearly tripled the target of 10 percent set earlier this year by the National Assembly (NA), the ministry stated in its report.

Export turnover of many products also increased sharply. Rubber topped the list with the growth rate of nearly 96 percent.

Coffee followed with an 81 percent increase while textiles and garments also surged more than 30 percent during the period.

The ministry estimated that a rise in export volume and a sharp price hike on the world market had contributed to lifting the country's export turnover in the first half of the year by roughly $2.7 billion.

Exports to a number of large markets including the US, EU, Japan and China rose between 22-40 percent, the ministry said.

Imports, meanwhile, were up 26.4 percent compared with the same period last year, at $49 billion. This puts the trade deficit for the first half of the year at around $7.5 billion, equal to 18 per cent of the total export value and higher than the ceiling rate of 16 per cent targeted by the NA earlier this year.

Industry insiders were concerned that the trade deficit would continue to rise due to increased imports, and urged ministries and agencies to take bolder measures to control the trade gap. The General Statistics Office reported last month's trade deficit increased by 17.3 percent to $1.7 billion, the highest level since January this 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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