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NEWS UPDATES Asean Affairs     February 6,  2017  

VN runs trade deficit of $100m in January

Viet Nam’s trade deficit rose by US$100 million in the first month of the year after enjoying a trade surplus of billions of dollars in 2016.

The trade deficit accounts for 0.7 per cent of the export turnover, according to the latest update from the General Statistics Office (GSO).

GSO said the country’s total import-export turnover in January reduced by 13 per cent from last December, despite an increase against the same period last year.

Of this amount, total export turnover reached $14.6 billion, reducing 12 per cent from the previous month, while total import turnover was $14.7 billion, or a decrease of 14 per cent month-on-month.

Several key export products saw decreasing turnover compared with December 2016. The export turnover of phones and spare parts reached $2.5 billion, reducing by 7.1 per cent, while that of garment and textile reduced by 10.8 per cent to $2.05 billion. The turnover of computers, electronics and spare parts was $1.6 billion, or a 14 per cent decrease, while that of shoes was $1.2 billion, reducing 10.2 per cent from the previous month.

A similar downward trend was seen in the import of key goods. The import turnover of many key products also saw a sharp decrease, such as machines, equipment and spare parts reduced by 15.3 per cent to $2.6 billion; computers, electronics and spare parts to $2.25 billion (10.3 per cent decrease), petroleum to $510 million (23.6 per cent decrease); phones and spare parts to $850 million (15 per cent decrease); and steel to $710 million (7.9 per cent decrease).

GSO experts said the country’s largest importers in January were the United States, with the total turnover of $3.3 billion, posting a 9.5 per cent increase year-on-year, and the European Union with $2.9 billion or a 4.8 per cent rise.

China remained Viet Nam’s largest exporter with the turnover of $4.3 billion, increasing 9.3 per cent from the same period last year. It was followed by South Korea with $2.5 billion (19.3 per cent increase) and ASEAN with $2.1 billion (15 per cent increase).

Notably, the FDI sector reported the trade surplus of $1.8 billion in the first month of the year to contribute to reducing the country’s total trade deficit. The sector posted an export turnover of $10.2 billion, increasing 9.7 per cent from the same period last year, while that of local firms was $4.3 billion, or a 2.8 per cent increase year-on-year.

The Ministry of Industry and Trade is implementing a programme on sustainable exports, which puts forth measures to restructure the market and boost product competitiveness to help businesses avoid trade barriers.The programme also highlights product quality improvement, trade promotion and market expansion.

In addition, it would focus on developing production to increase exports while ensuring the local demand towards a trade balance.

Last year, Viet Nam gained the trade surplus of $2.68 billion. Total trade value this year was $349.2 billion, a year-on-year increase of 6.6 per cent.

Telephones and their components had the highest export value at $34.51 billion, followed by $23.56 billion from textile and garment exports, 3.3 per cent higher than 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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