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|Viet Nam reported a $1.8 billion trade surplus during the first seven months of 2019 with exports to CPTPP economies making up over half of the figure. - Photo cafef.vn|
The country’s export turnover with CPTPP countries amounted to 15.4 per cent of Vietnam’s total figure. CPTPP economies accounted for six of the 27 export markets with export value exceeding $1 billion, a sizable contribution in comparison to other FTA deals the country has signed.
While appearing modest at 7.5 per cent, Vietnam’s export turnover growth was accompanied with a trade surplus with CPTPP economies, in stark contrast to the large deficit the country experienced when trade deals took effect with China in 1991, Thailand in 1995 and South Korea in 2018.
Exports to markets such as Japan, Canada and Mexico reported significant gains compared to the same period last year with Japan topping the chart at $1.01 billion, Canada at $546 million and Mexico at $290 million. At the same time, imports from Mexico decreased by $659 million, Singapore by $490 million and Malaysia by $219 million. It has helped the country turn a positive trade balance even posting a trade surplus with Japan for the very first time.
The figures indicated Vietnamese businesses were taking advantage of lowered tariffs and trade opportunities that come with the trade deal. Stronger demand for Vietnamese agricultural products from CPTPP economies was expected to help Vietnamese exporters to offset some of the adverse effects caused by China’s recent policy to reduce imports in the future.
On the other hand, measures must be taken to further boost the country’s exports as Viet Nam saw a decline in exports to markets such as Australia and Malaysia and growing trade deficits with Singapore, Brunei and New Zealand.
The CPTPP, one of the largest trade deals the world has ever seen, covering a combined GDP of $13.5 trillion and free market of 500 million people, took effect in January with Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore and Viet Nam as signatories.