Over the past 10 months, Vietnam's imports and exports grew slightly despite the COVID-19 pandemic.
In the first 4 months of the year, the economy saw a remarkable recovery of production, trading, and markets.
Industrial production registered double-digit month-on-month growth rates. Import and export turnover posted the highest growth rate in a decade - with export turnover increasing 28.3% over last year. The trade surplus was over 1.29 billion USD in the review period.
In May, when a fourth wave of the pandemic broke out in the industrial zones in Bac Giang and Bac Ninh, the two provinces with the biggest industrial production value in Vietnam, import and export activities were severely affected.
At that time, Le Anh Duong, Chairman of the Bac Giang provincial People's Committee, adopted the "3 on spot" strategy of requiring workers to eat, sleep, and work at their factory or industrial park while speeding up vaccination of workers in order to live safely with the pandemic.
“When Bac Giang temporarily shut down four industrial parks to fight the virus, 340 businesses with more than 140,000 workers halted their operations,” said Duong, adding, “Before closing, we held an online meeting with all the businesses to discuss ways to reorganize production activities in order to ensure production while fighting the pandemic and fight the pandemic to promote production.”
According to Duong, “Bac Giang was determined to resume production while safely adapting to and living with the pandemic.”
During the fourth wave of the epidemic, the joint efforts of all industries, sectors, and the entire political system have helped Vietnam’s imports and exports reach double-digit growth, 4 to 5% higher than the target set by the Government and the National Assembly.
Tran Quoc Khanh, Deputy Minister of Industry and Trade, said, “With exerted efforts, we managed to maintain production and exports in the northern and central regions, including the largest northern export centers - Bac Ninh, Bac Giang, and Thai Nguyen.”
“During social distancing, we worked hard to ensure distribution, including transport of input materials for production and transport of goods to seaports for export. Finally, and most importantly, we kept all major export gateways safe. As a result, even during the most difficult period, seaports in Ho Chi Minh City kept operating safely,” Khanh said.
Tran Thanh Hai, Deputy Director of the Import-Export Department, said that following the promulgation of the Government Resolution on "safe, flexible adaptation and effective control of the COVID-19 pandemic", Vietnam will likely enjoy a trade surplus this year.
“Despite a trade deficit of 2.13 billion USD over the past 9 months, equivalent to 0.8% of the import turnover, that’s not a too big gap, not to mention we still have three months to go until the end of 2021. Assuming there is no major COVD-19 outbreak, this will be a period when the southern provinces recover their growth and help Vietnam end this year with balanced trade, or even with a surplus, if favorable conditions emerge,” said Hai.