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NEW UPDATES Asean Affairs  30 December 2014  

VN sees trade surplus for third year
Viet Nam recorded a trade surplus of roughly US$2 billion in 2014, the General Statistics Office (GSO) reported last Saturday.

This is the third consecutive year that the country saw a surplus, after recording surpluses of $280 million in 2012 and more than $860 million in 2013.
This year, overall export revenues hit $150.42 billion, up 13.6 per cent over last year, while total import values reached $148.58 billion, a year-on-year increase of 12.1 per cent.

According to the GSO, foreign direct investment (FDI) enterprises contributed to the majority of revenues of Viet Nam's key export products. They accounted for 99.6 per cent of $24.83 billion in telephone and component exports, 59.4 per cent of $20.77 billion in garment and textile exports, and 77 per cent of $10.22 billion in footwear exports.

They also represented 89.7 per cent of machinery and equipment exports, which totaled $7.26 billion, and 98.8 per cent of computer and electronic exports, which amounted to $11.66 billion.

In 2014, the structure of exports saw significant changes that benefited the country's goods. The exports of light industrial goods increased 15.9 per cent to nearly $60 billion, farming and forestry products rose by 11.4 per cent to 17.80 billion, while aquatic products were up 17.6 per cent to nearly $8 billion.

Materials for production made up 91.2 per cent of total import values, reaching $135 billion, or a year-on-year increase of 12.5 per cent. Of these, the values of machinery and equipment were $55.60 billion (up 10.1 per cent), petroleum products were $7.62 billion (up 9.3 per cent), and chemical substances were $3.22 billion (up 14.6 per cent).

Further, material imports served production for exports by the FDI sector more than that of domestic enterprises. These imports amounted to $84.57 billion for foreign companies, compared with $63.49 billion for local firms.

The GSO noted that Viet Nam witnessed an increasing deficit in trade with China, while China remained the largest exporter to Viet Nam this year. The deficit for 2014 was $28.90 billion, a rise of 21.8 per cent from the figure recorded in 2013.

Viet Nam's imports from China reached $43.70 billion, up 18.2 per cent year-on-year, while its exports to this market were only $14.8 billion, although crude oil exports increased 76.9 per cent and textile fibre exports rose 40.3 per cent there.

The GSO noted that as the contents of domestically made materials and components in export goods remained low, the three-year high trade surplus of $2 billion resulted in insignificant benefits to the Vietnamese economy.

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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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