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Vietnam sees record trade deficit in first half-year

Hanoi (VNA) – Despite a sharp increase in exports, Vietnam still reported a record trade deficit of 14.8 billion USD in the first six months of this year, the General Statistics Office said.

In the first half-year, the country’s export value rose 31.8 percent year-on-year to 29.6 billion USD.

Animal and vegetable fat exports registered the highest growth of all, up nearly 176 percent. They were followed by rice, up 99 percent; crude oil, 49 percent; and gemstone and precious metal, over 48 percent. Both coal and cashew nuts increased by 43 percent.

Eight commodities reporting an export value of more than 1 billion USD each were crude oil, garment, footwear, electronics-computer, rice, coffee, wood furniture and aquatic product.

The six-month import value surged 60.3 percent over the same period last year to 44.4 billion USD, with automobiles taking the lead in import growth, followed by steel, machinery, equipment and fertiliser.

The domestically-invested sector imported 30.5 billion USD worth of commodities, up nearly 70 percent, and the foreign-invested sector, 13.9 billion USD, 42 percent.

The government has been taking measures to curb the country’s trade deficit, including raising taxes on auto imports and reducing the provision of loans for the import of consumer goods.

The Ministry of Industry and Trade said in the remaining months of this year, it will boost the production of materials that can replace imports and increase the export of high-value commodities.

The ministry will also tighten the management of investment projects, especially those funded by state budget, to gradually cut spending on machinery and material imports.

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